2015 Ambassador Clarissa Capuano

Clarissa Capuano CroppedHi there! My name is Clarissa Joann Capuano. I am seven years old and live with my Mom & Dad. I have two older brothers Alec & Jesse who are both in college. I love when they are home! I’ll be in college one day too but more about my future later on.

When I was born, I surprised everyone with an extra chromosome. Despite the somber tone at the hospital, I left there happy and healthy, ready to start my great life. There have been a few challenges along the way such as my heart surgery at four months (I had four holes in my heart…what the heck?). After the surgery I was out of the hospital in just six days. As my Dad often says, I’m tough! There have been other challenges too, but who doesn’t have something or the other?

Since then I’ve been on the go and I’m really enjoying life! I love to sing, dance, ride horses, swim, hike and play dress up. Mom helps me a lot with dress up. I think she likes it almost as much as I do. I also like piano (but I don’t love it – please don’t tell my parents). Mom keeps me very active which I enjoy, um, most days. It’s important to stay active because I have low muscle tone so it’s harder for me to stay fit. I think someday I want to try modeling. I love being on the catwalk and in the spotlight.

This year I started 2nd grade. I love my school and my teachers. I ride the regular school bus and have classes with all of my typical developing peers. I have lots of friends at school! And I’m getting smarter and smarter every day. My favorite class is PE where I can go outside and play, run and play basketball.

My future is bright because of all the love I get, my hard work, and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation – Global is working hard to make a better life for me. Did you know an estimated 50% of people with Down syndrome will get Alzheimer’s by the time they are in their 40s? That seems really unfair and scary. With your help, I know the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and all their great scientists at the Crnic Institute will figure this out.

My name is Clarissa…. and this is my wonderful life… so far….