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World Down Syndrome Day – 3.21

by | Mar 21, 2024

Celebrates People with a 3rd copy Of their 21st Chromosome

By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Thursday, March 21, 2024) – One of the smartest, sweetest young ladies I know will be 13 next month and already is helping to run her own home-based bakery business. She has a Facebook page and a website. Her name is Lila Mozingo. She was born with Down Syndrome, but that hasn’t stopped her from living an exuberant, successful, happy life. She is known as Limitless Lila.

Today, 3-21, is World Down Syndrome Day. The day celebrates the lives of people born with a third copy of their 21st chromosome and all their remarkable accomplishments. Five years ago today, Lila’s parents, Padgett and Mark Mozingo of Chapin, S.C., launched the “Limitless Purpose” non-profit organization to promote acceptance and inclusion for members of our human family with that extra 21st chromosome.

Padgett and Mark learned of Lila’s diagnosis during Padgett’s pregnancy. “From THAT day, people started underestimating her – including my doctor,” Padgett writes on the Limitless Lila webpage.

Instead of being encouraged to give Lila the life she deserved, Padgett and Mark were pressured to abort their daughter. Despite the dire predictions that Lila’s limitations would be severe, Padgett said, “Lila’s diagnosis doesn’t define her, and we won’t let it limit her either. We might have to fight a little harder to make sure others don’t limit her, but we know she’s giving it her all, so we will too.”

This is a recent photo of Lila and her uncle by marriage, Wayne Cockfield, USMC ret. The picture speaks powerfully of the vast community of otherly-abled members of our human family.

Lila, born with a disability, is thriving working for her mom’s cottage industry that started with homemade sourdough bread and has expanded to include sweet treats including chocolate covered pretzels and pecans, amazing cookies and brownies, and now fresh eggs from backyard chickens.

Wayne, who became disabled in the Vietnam War, went on to work at the United Nations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He just happened to be wearing his UN tee shirt when Lila dropped by his Florence, S.C., home for a visit. Wayne also serves as the Vice President for Medical Ethics for the National Right to Life Committee.

“I remember when Lila was born,” Wayne said. “We were all so happy. Lila is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. She makes people around her better. She makes people happy. People look at her and smile. She has certain problems, but don’t we all!

“Whether born with a disability or becoming disabled later in life, every human being has dignity and purpose,” Wayne said. “A person’s value is an intrinsic value. It doesn’t come from what you can or cannot accomplish. It comes from God.”

On February 29, 2024, Disabilities Advocacy Day at the State House, Lila made rounds distributing more than 250 home-baked cookies from her business. She made time for a photo op with Governor Henry McMaster and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette. At almost 13, Lila already is an ambassador of limitless possibilities. “Every child is limitless when love, accepted, and included,” Padgett said.

 

Categories: Down Syndrome