Up, Up and Away with Renee

Renee…in Her Own Words

I might look a little different from most people but in reality I am not so different at all! I went to primary school then special school and after leaving, my mum searched out opportunities for me to experience.

I learned to swim and did freestyle and backstroke and loved it. I played tennis and basketball and still play basketball today. I made lots of friends along the way.

I am known as a little bit of a drama queen and learned drama at TAFE. I love going to live theatre shows and movie theatres, my favourite being Hairspray which I saw at QPAC.  I loved it and wished I was in it! I did act in The Wiz as the Tin Man and remember my part well “slide some oil to me”.

At school I loved listening to music, going to birthday parties and dancing. I loved traveling and trying all sorts of new foods. I had my first beer about 8 years ago I think, and I like red wine with my food as well.

Now that I’m 26 years old I still have many of the friends I grew up with and I play basketball and golf through Special Olympics and Golf Programs Australia Inc.  I have had such wonderful opportunities and represented my local area (Sunshine Coast), and my State of Queensland in both these sports.  That’s not so different from a lot of people.

Since I was a teenager I have learned to cook, clean, and take care of myself. My favourite food are tacos. I don’t like octopus so much and I have been to some of the most wonderful restaurants in places as far away as France. Not so different to most people am I?

I have learned to make jams, chutneys and sauces.  I am currently training to be a waitress and barista two days a week which is wonderful because I like being out front of the café to speak to everyone who comes in. Not so different from a lot people, well except the fact that I can remember people’s names more than most. I love to watch their smile sneak across their faces as I see them in the supermarket months later and shock them by calling them by name!

With a Little Help from Family and Friends

My mum is great and once again has provided me with an opportunity to develop professionally. I train with my own bespoke mentor/business coach Michelle Dalton in GPAI Creative Nambour where I am learning business, retail and creativity. I sign in and have my own worksheet and I am responsible to help setup the store and serve customers. I also use the EFTPOS machine, cash register and petty cash reconciliation. I can up sell items to a customer and help them out with special orders. I am no different to other trainees, other than I smile more.

I am up beat because I have such a wonderful life. I want to thank my mum (love you mum!) for this because she has made sure I was given every opportunity to experience so many things I cannot remember them all. I probably remember all the names of the people who helped me do them but not exactly what I did.

I love the spotlight and feel like a shining star when I talk on local radio or appear in a TV commercial or sit for a photo shoot. Whether in a play or making speeches at occasions like weddings, birthdays and parties I am in my zone.

I don’t know what the word SHY exactly means, but I don’t think I want to.

A Hope-Filled Life

Late in 2017 my mentor arranged for me to become a blogger or as my step-brother Scott commented with an Aussie French accent I am a ‘Bloggggggerrrr” and my work appears bi-monthly in my column “A Little R & R with Renee” within the online publication The Hinterland Journal.  I am not down about Down Syndrome. How could I be with a life as full and wonderful as I have? I hope I bring people up, up and away with me.

I want to represent other people with disabilities who may be down about their situation or their condition. I interview my friends and sometimes new people I have met for my articles so that people can see we are not down with our disability, we are up…up…up… up beat, up front, upstanding, and away

Imagine my mum when I was a little child hearing when I grew up I would be a sportsperson, an ambassador, a blogger, a barista, a waitress, a dancer, an actor, a student, a friend, a daughter, a girlfriend and a business owner.

Life has been good to me and I want to take people up, up, and away with me. Next flight leaving Sunshine Coast soon, details on my blog!

I have a great social life with my friends and family, and I’m moving onward and upward with my working life and skills.

There is nothing DOWN about DOWN SYNDROME… who gave it that name anyway?  Actually, the name came from Dr. Langdon Down, the physician who first described its features in 1866. The wordsyndrome” means “a collection of signs and symptoms usually found in combination. Down syndrome is caused by extra genetic material.