NRL News

Surprise: CNN Touts Down Syndrome Model ‘Giving Hope To Others With Disabilities’

by | Nov 2, 2015

By Matthew Balan

Downsyndromemodel3CNN refreshingly spotlighted a teen model with Down syndrome on Wednesday’s New Day. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that 18-year-old Madeline Stuart’s “modeling career is taking off. She walked the runway during Europe Fashion Week this fall, and won a contract to be the face of lipstick company Glossigirl — all of which her mom says is giving hope to others with disabilities.” Down syndrome people definitely could use all the hope they can get, as the sheer majority of babies with the genetic condition are aborted before they can draw their first birth.

Dr. Gupta detailed how “half of all children born with Down syndrome have some type of heart defect. So, in Maddy’s case, the blood that was going into her heart wasn’t getting enough oxygen before then going out….Maddy almost didn’t survive to see her first birthday. At two months old, she had heart surgery.” Her mother, Rosanne Stuart, revealed that her daughter “had [a] 13 percent chance survival rate” early in life due to her heart defect.

The CNN chief medical correspondent gave the details of the younger Stuart’s modeling career later in his report. He also played a soundbite of her mother underlining that the young model “does sports seven days a week. She’s so energetic. It just exhausts me.”

It should be pointed out that Gupta’s former colleague at CNN, Kyra Phillips (who is now at sister network, HLN), actually spoke out for Down syndrome children in a May 2014 interview from the MRC’s Lauretta Brown asked for her reaction to the fact that most Down syndrome are aborted: “If you meet a child with Down syndrome, you realize their potential. You realize how smart they are…how loving they are; how energetic, inspiring they are. They are beautiful human beings.” The doctor didn’t bring up the abortion issue during his report, but should be credited for his positive coverage of a young woman who beat the odds.

Editor’s note. This appeared at and is reprinted with permission.

Categories: Down Syndrome