2024 Ambassador Isla Eager

It is truly an honor for us to introduce Isla as GLOBAL’s 2024 Ambassador. When Isla walks in a room you know it. Someone recently described Isla to us as a “joy bomb”. It’s true. She’s a tornado of activity and non-stop movement but sheds light in every direction she moves. Her teachers call her the “mayor” of the school. But the same can be said when she’s at a doctor’s office, playground, or grocery store. She’s never met a stranger and is quick with a “Hi!”, especially if the person on the receiving end hasn’t noticed her yet. It’s like she prides herself on the challenge of getting their attention. She will be persistent if the “Hi!” is not reciprocated.

We first learned our baby would likely have Down syndrome when we were about 12 weeks pregnant. It was surprising news to receive, but there was never a doubt about how much she would be loved. Isla gave us a run for our money from day one, needing an emergency transfer to Children’s National where she landed in the Cardiac ICU. Her heart has healed itself remarkably well and so far, we’ve avoided surgery. Isla was diagnosed with infantile spasms when she was about 9 months old, which is a type of seizure that occurs in babies and needs immediate treatment to prevent developmental issues. Luckily, with a long and heavy round of steroids, we were able to stop the seizures and Isla has since shown remarkable progress with her development.

Isla is thriving since starting school last August. She’s a whirlwind of walking, talking, and singing. You’ll be hard pressed to find a two-year-old who is a bigger bookworm. She will pass up a room full of toys for a chance to sit and read, babbling away to herself with full emotion and the occasional “oh no” and “wow”.

We know there may be more medical challenges in Isla’s future. We are grateful for the work the Global Down Syndrome Foundation is doing daily to ensure that when the day comes, we have the research and resources to receive the best medical care possible for Isla. Thank you for supporting this cause and making the quality of life better for those with Down syndrome!