BOULDER, Colo. — There is a three-year-old boy in Boulder who is inspiring people nationwide.

Manu Kawulok is living with Down syndrome. He was recently selected to be an ambassador for a nationwide program looking to change the perspective on the diagnosis.

"It’s a different journey for sure but it’s an amazing journey," Manu's mom, Lia Kawulok said. 

She said that when she was pregnant with Manu, she learned he would be born with Down syndrome. And after that point, she did not feel supported by doctors.

“Ever since that point in pregnancy, there was like a huge shift in the atmosphere when you would go in," Kawulok said. "Usually, when you are going in for pregnancy and getting ultrasounds, it’s like an exciting thing for someone but it just changed a lot. The doctors weren’t excited about it. They would kind of say, 'Well he is going to have this, this and this wrong with him and he is going to struggle as an adult and as a child.'  You know they pushed a lot for terminating my pregnancy for most of the pregnancy.”

Kawulok said she wants parents to know that having a child with Down syndrome "isn't the end of the world." 

"I want them to see that they can still flourish and they can make friends and that they're just a typical kid," she said. "You don’t treat them any differently.”

Manu Kawulok
3-year-old Manu Kawulok
Lia Kawulok

That is part of the message Manu will be helping to spread with his work as an ambassador with Nothing Down, a Down syndrome awareness organization.

“Nothing Down is an organization and they are located in New Jersey, but they are a worldwide organization and they basically spread awareness about Down syndrome and they advocate for kids and adults with down syndrome,” Kawulok said.

Kawulok said she uses the Nothing Down community for knowledge and support and hopes this experience will help her son to grow to be proud of his differences.

Manu Kawulok
Manu Kawulok
KUSA

“I just want him to know that different isn’t a bad thing," she said. "And that it’s okay if he learns a little differently than other people in that he may not be able to do everything to the full extent as everyone. But I also want him to know that the things he does accomplish, he worked ten times harder than other people to accomplish that. I want him to be proud of those accomplishments."

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