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SWFL boy with Down syndrome inspires thousands with his smile and perseverance

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:

Maddie Levy hears it all the time — her son Myles “can’t” or “won’t.”

“They told me Myles won’t be potty trained ’til he’s 12, won’t walk until he’s five, won’t ever be able to live by himself,” she said.

Sure he sometimes needs a helping hand from mom — every one-year-old boy does, but Myles doesn’t let Down syndrome keep him from doing whatever he sets his mind to.

“He works super hard in therapy,” said Levy. “Right now, he’s in swimming lessons and he just works really hard and doesn’t give up.”

In his first 12 months, Myles has seen the tougher side of life; Folks young and old, not just doubting him, but minimizing him and ignoring him because of his “extra chromosome.”

“Every person that Myles meets, he puts a smile on their face,” his mom said.

Maddie Levy with her son, Myles. (WINK News)

Saturday, Myles will put even more smiles on more faces. That face of his will grace the good people of New York City on the Times Square Jumbotron in a campaign to raise awareness, and to prove to everyone he’s just Myles and should be treated just like Myles.

“I think he’ll be very proud of himself,” Levy said. “I think he’ll be happy that there was a chance for people to see the positive of Down syndrome.”

Levy might be used to hearing Myles “can’t” or “won’t,” but together, they’re already making it clear they can and will.

Levy says her boy inspires her every day. That’s why she founded Myles’ Message, a non-profit agency that hopes to provide resources and support to parents with children with Down syndrome.

If you’d like to learn more about Myles’ Message, click here.