Rosemary M, age 14

Photograph by Summers McBride (2023)

Rosemary is intuitive and knows when someone needs a hug or good cheer. She is always singing, laughing, and seeking to bring joy. Rosemary does not see labels—she sees people—and inspires others to do the same.

At five weeks old, she had emergency intestinal surgery, and at five months old, she had open heart surgery. She began physical, speech, feeding and occupational therapies as an infant. Rosemary has a diagnosis of Down syndrome and has a recent diagnosis of autism. She continues therapy today and is still gaining new skills and trying new things.

Rosemary’s favorite activities include playing basketball, swinging on the trapeze, playing in the sandbox, reading books, listening to music, and dancing. Over the past year, she had a wonderful time at Camp Rise Above at Camp Cole and participating in a Special Olympics basketball tournament.

Rosemary inspires her mother, Elizabeth, every day. “I would like other families with children who have different abilities to know that they are not alone. Their children are precious and valued and their beautiful faces should be seen and their stories told.”

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.