For the Sanchez family, raising kids with Down syndrome is an exciting adventure. Of Jennifer and Hector Sanchez's four children, two have the genetic disorder — leading Jennifer to embrace October — Down syndrome awareness month — as a time to share her own stories about her two Down syndrome kids, Joaquin, 8, and Sofia, 7.
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But this year, it's Sofia who is bringing attention to Down syndrome. Sanchez recently filmed a short video of Sofia answering questions about the disorder and posted it to her Instagram account, where to date it has received more than 15,000 views.
"Is Down syndrome scary?" Sanchez asks her daughter in the video.
"No, it's not scary. It's so exciting," Sofia responds.
"This year, I thought maybe it's time people hear from my kids, not me," Sanchez told TODAY Parents. "What better person to bring about awareness than someone who has Down syndrome?"
Sofia's journey is unique — Sanchez and her husband adopted her from Ukraine when she was 16 months old.
"She was abandoned at birth," said Sanchez. "We felt that since we were already taking the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome, why not adopt another and provide a loving home for Sofia and also give Joaquin a sibling just like him?"
Sanchez says she is proud of the strong advocate her daughter has become for Down syndrome at such a young age. Sofia has appeared in Target ads as a model, and has been thrilled to see her video go viral.
"Sofia's joy is contagious ... I think besides being adorable and just a ray of sunshine for others to share in, she is the voice of those with Down syndrome," said Sanchez. "She shows the world that she is confident, happy, capable and that really there is just nothing to be afraid of when it comes to Down syndrome."