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Chana baby named global ambassador for Down Syndrome

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CHANA (WREX) — Lane Schabacker was diagnosed with Down Syndrome before he was born.

His mom Margie, who was 34 when she was pregnant, decided to get tested early on to see how her baby was growing.

"I was a little bit of an older mom so I chose to do a harmony blood test. That gives you the chromosomal abnormalities and also let's you know if you're having a boy or a girl," Schabacker said.

Through the first trimester is when Lane was diagnosed.

He is now 16 months old and, according to his mom, is hitting all of his milestones for a child his age.

"He's 16 months old and just starting to scoot around a lot but he's getting there. Just a little slower," Schabacker said."

While he may be on pace, Lane is anything but the ordinary kid.

He's a symbol of a very important message both in the stateline and around the world.

The Schabacker family connected with the Nothing Down organization after Lane was born.

The group's mission is to provide support, advocacy, education and opportunities for individuals and families that have been touched by Down Syndrome.

There are 29 global ambassadors working to spread a message of awareness and understanding for Down Syndrome worldwide.

1-year-old Lane is one of them.

"They might look different to you and I. Some of them are in wheelchairs, some of them might no be verbal but they're all kids. They all want to be a part of your life," Schabacker said.

" In many situations, they're thriving. They're holding down jobs just like you and I would. The future is very bright for these kids."

The Schabackers are fully embracing Lane's new role.

Just having him as a part of the family has quickly made an impact on how Down Syndrome is perceived.

"I have three other kids and he's basically just like them," Schabacker said.

"We see a child of a different ability playing at a park and they'll go right up to that child and engage them where before they might have been a little more hesitant to engage. They know that it's just someone like Lane."

Being a part of Nothing Down has given Margie Schabacker a lot of piece of mind.

When she first found out about Lane's Down Syndrome, she didn't know how to react.

"When you get a diagnosis like that, you're devastated. You're sad. You're expecting this other child basically and so if I can be there for just one family and share what he's brought to our family, that's where it's at," Schabacker said.

Margie wants to be there for families like hers.

For women trying to find answers like she was.

People looking for a way to calm the fears they have for their children.

She's excited her son is someone that can give people what they need.

Hope.

"I would not have been so scared. My husband would not have been so worried if we had known this is what it looks like," Schabacker said.

"If there's one person we can reach that we can say 'don't be scared, it's Lane.' He's what he was he was supposed to be and he's doing great."

To learn more about the Nothing Down organization, click here

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at eleake@wrex.com or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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