Lizzy Samples, age 5

Photograph by Emily Barnes (2021)

Lizzy Samples is looking forward to a new school year—she loves to learn. At home she plays the teacher, reading books to a “class” of her baby dolls. When she’s not reading, learning, or teaching, Lizzy loves to swim, and she can’t wait to start gymnastics and dance classes.

In her early years, Lizzy required heart and eye surgeries and needed a G-Tube for feeding. Lizzy has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. She’s been through a lot in her life. Her mom, Jenny, says these experiences have given Lizzy an edge on fear and have shaped her strong will, determination, and sass.

It has been a busy and happy year at Lizzy’s house—her recently blended family includes a new puppy named Penny, and stepsister named Perrin. Lizzy and Perrin are best friends and act like they have always been sisters.

Family Connection of South Carolina provides services and resources to families who have a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. Since 1990 we have served more than 100,000 families and today our services are needed more than ever. We focus on parent-to-parent support, guidance with navigating the complex healthcare system, and assistance with school meetings and special education plans.

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