Down Syndrome never got in the way of Christian Bowers’ social life until he graduated from school and didn’t have a community around him anymore. The now 24-year-old fell into a depression, and his mom stepped in to help him make new friends. Christian’s mom posted on social media asking if any young men in the Rochester, Minnesota area would hang out with Christian, and even offered to pay them for their time. In one day, her post had over 5,000 comments from people eager to spend time with Christian who were heartbroken that she had reached a point of attempting to pay for friendship. She narrowed it down to seven people who Christian now hangs out with on a rotating schedule. None of Christian’s newfound friends have Down Syndrome, which helps him feel accepted by the non-special needs community. These friendships have transformed Christian’s life, and his mother says he now wakes up excited for the day and goes to sleep with a smile on his face.
Image via Donna Herter
Read other stories from the 5/15/23 newsletter:
Music Delays Cognitive Decline
Brazil's New Indigenous Reserves