Black and white photo of young adult male sitting on brick ledge in front of brick wall and bushes

Daniel B, age 19

Photograph by Renee Frisbie (2024)

A man of many talents, Daniel can do it all. If he is not working at his former high school’s coffee shop making cookies and lemonade, you might find him looking after his family’s dogs or chickens. Daniel also finds time to practice daily for Special Olympics where he is on the cheerleading, volleyball, and track teams.
Born with a diagnosis of Down syndrome, Daniel entered the world six weeks early and has kept everyone on their toes ever since. From getting a feeding tube to open-heart surgery at three months old, he tackled each obstacle. Doctors told his family that because of three holes in his heart he was not expected to survive, but he did. Nineteen years later, Daniel captures the hearts of others with his charm.
Daniel has flourished into a self-sufficient young man. With his family’s support, he graduated high school, gained employment, and continues to thrive in the Special Olympics community.
Daniel has a zest for life that extends beyond personal achievements; he aspires to give back. His dream of becoming a police officer reflects his compassion and ambition. Just before his 17th birthday, Daniel’s mother created a social media post asking for police departments to send a patch or other item to Daniel for his birthday. The post went viral. In addition to receiving patches from 49 states and several countries, the New York City Police Department flew Daniel’s family to New York for an incredible weekend interacting with officers and their horses. Daniel was in his element! Daniel’s journey embodies the power of resilience, love, and unwavering belief in possibilities.

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.