Madeline Stuart, world's 1st professional adult model with Down syndrome, is putting diversity on the ramp

Madeline Stuart from Australia, is the world’s first professional adult model with Down syndrome. She is firmly putting the spotlight on inclusion with her presence on the catwalk.

Madeline is confident of herself. She has never seen her condition as a barrier to achieving anything.

Like many people with Down syndrome, Madeline struggles with her weight, but she has never let that stop her from pursuing a career in modeling. Her mother encourages her to eat healthy and exercise everyday.

Madeline's mother got her first photo shoot done and posted the pictures on Facebook. Within days the photo had been viewed nearly seven million times, in countries like Iceland, Mexico, Cuba and the United States.

She has been invited to walk at the New York Fashion Week, one of the first adult models with Down syndrome to walk in a fashion show.

When Madeline was born, her mother was told by the doctor to leave her at the hospital, as she would never amount to anything. Instead, her mother decided to love and accept her daughter and encourage her in every way possible.

Madeline has represented her home state in Australia in cricket and basketball at the Special Olympics. She met her boyfriend of four years, Robbie Streeting, at the Special Olympics. She has also started a dance school in Queensland called Inside Outside that mostly trains people with disabilities.

One of the oldest-known disorders in the world, Down syndrome occurs when babies are born with an extra chromosome 21. It results in varying intellectual and physical disabilities, ranging from heart defects to impaired vision and respiratory issues.

ALSO READ: Look at the person, not the syndrome! - My Take by Dr Surekha RamaChandran, Chairperson Down Syndrome Federation of Indias

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