Saturday, 2 January 2010

On the 8th day of Christmas I'd like to introduce ...

the late Deanna Sipaco

Another inspiring individual who was sadly born with  a heart defect at a time before corrective surgery was widely available with positive outcomes.  

Deanna, a talented artist,  (pictured here with Sue Buckley from DownsEd) died in September 2005 at the age of 33, leaving behind her not only her artwork but also a legacy in the form of the DS (Deanna Sipaco) Foundation for the Differently Abled.


This non-profit organisation started by her parents on Deanna's 29th birthday, continues to cater for the social and self-actualisation needs of people with special needs.  Deanna started painting at the age of 9 and the Foundation Centre now displays a number of her paintings that look like a kaleidoscopic blast of flowers in vibrant colors, as well as paintings and doodles of children with Down’s Syndrome.

During her lifetime, Deanna was also invited to various national and international events including the World Down Syndrome Congress in Singapore in 2004 where I was lucky enough to meet and chat with her.    Her art was colourful and vibrant and Deanna was very enthusiastic about it, but sadly her underlying heart condition was very obvious and it was to be this that resulted in her early death.

You can see a video of more of her artwork here.

At the World Congress in 2009, Down Syndrome International acknowledged Deanna's contribution to people with Down Syndrome in the Philippines and the rest of the world by presenting an award which was accepted on Deanna's behalf by her parents, Diana and Alberto Sipaco.  

 Receiving the award on behalf of our daughter brought us a sense of gain. It’s heartwarming that even if she is no longer with us, the world continues to recognize her for what she was and what she brought to other children with the same circumstance as she had.” her mother said.

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