Defying All Odds: Young Woman With Down Syndrome Becomes Model, Motivational Speaker & Defeats Cancer

A resilient teenager hailing from Colorado Springs, Colorado, is demonstrating that with determination, one can overcome any challenges, regardless of the circumstances. Kennedy Garcia has encountered numerous obstacles in her life and faced skepticism and disbelief from those uncertain about her ability to defy the odds. Nevertheless, Kennedy has consistently persevered through adversity, actively working towards realizing her dreams and evolving into an exceptionally inspiring role model.

Kennedy was born with Down syndrome, a condition characterized by an extra chromosome. According to the CDC, it is the most commonly diagnosed chromosomal condition in the United States, occurring in approximately one in every 700 babies. This condition can lead to complications in the physical and cognitive development of babies during pregnancy. Adding to her challenges, Kennedy later received a cancer diagnosis, signifying that her journey would be far from straightforward.

Renee, Kennedy's mother, unwaveringly believed in her daughter and encouraged her to pursue her passions. Despite facing both triumphs and tribulations, Kennedy is now actively engaged in what she loves, serving as a source of inspiration for people worldwide as a model, actress, and professional speaker. Throughout her journey, Kennedy ensures to allocate time for those closest to her – her boyfriend, friends, and family.

Overcoming The Odds
Kennedy, now a genuine role model, did not always experience a glamorous life. According to Metro, doctors initially conveyed to Renee that her daughter's life quality would be compromised due to Down syndrome, predicting challenges in raising her into adulthood. Despite this discouraging prognosis, Renee adamantly refused to abandon her daughter and continued to inspire her to aim for the highest aspirations.

Bright Side reports that Kennedy spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital during her formative years, yet maintained a positive outlook throughout. Renee consistently speaks highly of Kennedy, acknowledging the highs and lows she encountered on her journey to becoming a successful 16-year-old today.

“She has truly conquered numerous challenges,” expressed Renee. “With over 30 surgeries, battling leukemia, and undergoing spine fusion surgery as a toddler, she has faced a difficult path. Despite being super sick or in pain, she always maintained a positive attitude and a smile.”

On February 4, 2020, Kennedy shared a striking black and white photograph on Instagram, commemorating her journey as a cancer survivor. In her post, she reflected on this significant milestone.

“Today is World Cancer Day! I am a survivor! And once you’ve stood up to cancer, everything else feels like a pretty easy fight. In memory of those who have lost their battle, in support of those who continue to fight, and to those who have survived… raise awareness, find a cure, carry on the fight!”

Becoming A Role Model

Kennedy has continued to beat the odds as she is now a model, actress and a professional speaker. According to Bright Side, she started modeling when she was 6 years old and was discovered by American Girl when she was 10. The teenager has continued to model ever since.

Kennedy also has a strong love for dance, something she’s been a part of since she was 5 years old. Renee explained that Kennedy is the only one with Down syndrome on her competition team, and has made great friends through dance. She also has learned how to balance her professional life with her social life, and has even found time for a relationship with her supportive boyfriend.

Renee continued:

“There have definitely been highs and lows in our journey, but 16 years in, the good has FAR outweighed the bad. When she was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome, we were given a very bleak outlook on her future… not one that you would ever hope for, for your child, but Kennedy has continually proven those doctors wrong, as she has paved her own way and shown the world what she CAN do.”

It’s evident that Kennedy is a true inspiration to others, and talks to students about how easy it should be to make friends with people from all walks of life. Renee added, “People with Down syndrome or other disabilities are just like the rest of us. And I think that’s what Kennedy strives to show every day on her Instagram account. That she’s a pretty typical teen… and if people gave her a chance, they’d find out that she’s a pretty great friend and a lot of fun!”

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