My name is Joy Brett, married to Ronny who is my second husband.  I have three children :Jason who is 33 and married to Amy, Megan who is 29 and married to Deon, Michaela (AKA Beany) who is my daughter born with Down Syndrome.

When did you become a mom for the first time? 

I had Jason at 21. Really young but now we are like buds 🙂 

When did you find out your child’s diagnosis?

I found out Michaela had Down Syndrome when she was born. But I had a hunch right from day one when I took a pregnancy test that there was something different. I can’t put my finger on why but I believe in a mom’s intuition.  

What is the hardest part about being a mom of a child born with Down Syndrome?

The hardest part of having Michaela is the realization she will never be a Mom,  nor get married (some adults with Down Syndrome do but emotionally she won’t be able to) , never have a wedding,  a baby shower, a bridal shower. All those things go through my mind. I think because my greatest achievement in life has been becoming a Mom and wife. 

What do you do just for you?

Just for me….. I have bush next to my home and I sit with binoculars and watch birds. The silence of bush calms me. One day I want to live on a farm as I was born on a farm in Zimbabwe. 

Favorite guilty pleasure?

….. pizza and wine . They have to go together !!! 

What is the kindest thing that someone has ever done for you?

….. my husband Ronny coming into my life and marrying me dispite having Michaela.  He told me “shes our daughter” and always referred to my kids as “our kids” , never once putting them into a stepchild category. He’s a gem!!! 

If you had to pick the soundtrack to your life what would it be?

I’d have to coordinate  a whole lot of songs all in one! Those with the  words- happy,  content, pride,  sometimes angry, bitter and cross. Is there a song like that? Lol 

What does Down Syndrome Awareness Month mean to you?

Awareness month is extremely important to me because I feel it has created such awareness over the years. From Michaela being a baby,  to now, acceptance has grown immensely. I can honestly see the difference.  We still have a way to go but it definitely has come a long way. 

If you could change one thing in the world to make it an easier and better place for your child what would it be?

If I could change something it would be that nobody be ignorant about Down Syndrome.  Because ignorance breeds stupidity and with that brings myths that arent true. 

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