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Teen With Down Syndrome Graduates Alongside The 2 Friends Who’ve Always Had Her Back.

When Madison Moore was entering kindergarten, her parents, Kevin Moore and Dena Fabian-Moore, fought hard to get her integrated into a traditional classroom.

Madison has Down syndrome, and at the time, their school district in Muskogee, Oklahoma, didn’t typically support integration. But Kevin and Dena’s decision to push the issue turned out in everyone’s favor.

This year, Madison graduated from Muskogee High School alongside the classmates she’s grown up with all her life.

On the big day, she donned her cap and gown and accepted her diploma with a huge smile on her face. Afterward, she posed for pictures with her dear friends, being sure to seek out Pryce Jackson and Kyran English in particular.

Her dad later uploaded the picture to Twitter with the caption, “These two fine young men have watched out and have been friends with my daughter since kindergarten.”

Pryce and Kyran have taken Madison under their wings and treated her like a little sister since they were 5 years old. If the boys saw her eating lunch alone, they would sit down next to her and keep her company. On field trips, they would help her find her way around and hold her hand if she needed support, and Madison often sought one or both of them out to chat or walk home from school. “It was never a burden to us at all,” Kyran said.

Their friendship went both ways. Kyran remembers once in third grade when a bad grade left him in tears. The first person to comfort him was Madison, and he never forgot her kindness.

Dena and Kevin were always thrilled that the teenagers treated Madison like any other student and protected her from any cruelty she encountered from other kids. “They don’t look at her as a kid with Down syndrome,” Dena explained. “They just look at her as [a] friend.” 

“It was kind of like the big brother role, you know, just picking it up and keeping on with it, making sure she was good over the years, being that person our parents raised us to be,” Pryce said.

I think if we had a world full of people like Madison, I think we’d [have] a lot better place. She’s managed to overcome a lot. And if I were to use one word to describe her it would be ‘inspirational.’

After Kevin shared their graduation photo online, it went viral. Hundreds of thousands of people liked and shared the tweet, offering words of praise for the kind young men who saw what a cool person Madison is. Kevin is using their internet fame to encourage other parents of students with special needs to never stop advocating for them, in and out of school. If they hadn’t pushed for Madison to enter a traditional classroom, she would never have made friends with these two extraordinary young men!

Congratulations to all the 2021 graduates, especially Pryce, Kyran, and Madison! These three are giving us hope for a more inclusive, loving future for all of our children.

Share this story to wish Madison and her friends well on their future journeys.

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