Heroes News

Meet the 2014 Heroes!


It’s World Down Syndrome Day (March 21)! World Down Syndrome Day gives people around the world the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions made by people with Down syndrome.

Today, we are revealing the Canadian Down Syndrome Heroes, officially debuting the 2014 “See the Ability” Photo Montage, wearing Lots of Socks, and more!.

Canadian Down Syndrome Heroes

For the last three years, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society has selected Heroes for World Down Syndrome Day. These Heroes were nominated by our members and supporters. We chose five great people who inspire their communities to “See the Ability”. They represent a new generation of leaders in the Down syndrome community.

The 2014 Heroes are (in no particular order):

Daniel Vu from Edmonton

Daniel is a 22-year-old University of Alberta student. He is an accomplished athlete who has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He is a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and an avid volunteer with several organizations: the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Edmonton Down Syndrome Society, Canadian Cancer Society, and Ronald McDonald House. Daniel was nominated by his sister Catherine and fraternity brother Kyle.

 Reid “Pip” McCallam from Kingston

One-year-old Pip is known from her mom’s website the Happy Soul Project. Pip has inspired new and expectant parents and the world. Her viral message “What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful,” was featured on The Huffington Post. Pip was nominated by her mom Tara and over 200 supporters from social media.


Nathan Purdy from Brantford

Nathan is a 22-year-old activist who started his own organization against human trafficking called Pennies for Freedom. His work was profiled by the 700 Club and he is a public speaker in Ontario. He was nominated by his friend Michelle, a parent advocate who he met through the Down Syndrome Association of Brantford.

Marie Webb from Halifax

Marie is a prolific artist who has devoted over 10,000 hours to her craft. She is the first person with Down syndrome in Canada to have a curated solo exhibition at a provincial gallery, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Marie was nominated by her friend Lynette, her mother, Renee, the Curator of Education and Public Programs at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dale Sheppard, and her Team Possibles instructor Erin.


Wii’um “William” Morin from Sudbury

Wii’um is a 6-year-old who is known across Ontario for his spirit and commitment to the Ojibway people and customs. An energetic performer, he is often seen taking the microphone from Pow Wow emcees to share the sound of a bird call or share a story. Wii’um was nominated by his father and his teacher, Elissa.


The Heroes will be given a $500.00 grant to put toward their education, a special goal or project, or to donate to another organization of their choice.

Congratulations to our Heroes and thanks to the Heroes Selection Committee who had the hard decision of choosing just five! Visit www.cdss.ca/heroes to read more about them and reintroduce yourself to our great past Heroes.

Other World Down Syndrome Day Initiatives

Not only are we celebrating Heroes, but communities around Canada and the world are celebrating this great day with parties, events, and Lots of Socks! What are you up to? Post it on our Facebook page or Tweet it to us. We’ll be sharing and retweeting throughout the day. Use #SeeTheAbility and #WDSD14.

And while you’re at it, share and tweet Down Syndrome International’s Let Us In! I Want Access To Healthcare video, featuring 50 countries from around the world. Canada’s clip features Jody Roll, who’s mother was a founder of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society!

We hope you have a wonderful World Down Syndrome Day. See the Ability!