Differently-abled people can often feel alienated from their peers, but for the 10 girls who make up The Ladybugs, a Girl Scouts troop in Washington, that hasn’t been an issue at all.
For the past nine years, the childhood friends have shared laughs, cookies, a love of ladybugs, and the same genetic condition: Down syndrome.
Sarina, Nora, Lillie, Maddie, Anjulie, and their fellow troop members were all around five or six years old when their parents, recognizing that need for community, decided to create their own “safe haven.” Troop Leader Linda Sauve formed the group with her daughter, Sarina, and says it’s one of the best and biggest parts of their lives.
Now, with all the girls about to enter adulthood, their bond is stronger than ever. Some of their favorite activities are crafts, sleep overs, and dancing. Like any other group of friends, they don’t share everything in common. But Linda says it’s been amazing for them to be around others like themselves.
“Having that common thread doesn’t mean that they’re all alike, by any means,” Linda said. “They’re all unique individuals. But having that extra chromosome gives us all a common thread.”
“People, if you have Down syndrome, that’s cool. You get to do cool activities!” Sarina said.
“What I like about Girl Scouts is that your friends are there for you,” another troop member added.
Everyone should have a group of friends as supportive and loving as this one! Here’s to many more years of friendship for these girls, wherever life may take them. Something tells us The Ladybugs will still be just as close decades from now.
Learn more about what inspired Linda and Sarina to form the troop in the video below. Share to show your support for these sweet young ladies.
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