Things That Matter

This 27-Year-Old Is Making History In Peru As He Becomes The First Person With Down Syndrome For Congress

With so much chaos going on in our government, whether it’s the shit-talking coming from the president or the shit-talking on the Democratic debate stage, we wish we could have decent politicians that truly want was is best for the citizens. We hope we could have politicians that care more about the people than about their ego. Everyone on Capitol Hill should learn from the following gentleman who wants to make a difference in his community. 

This is 27-year-old Bryan Russell. He is making history by being the first person with Down syndrome to run for Congress. 

“I’m someone clean, honest, transparent,” Russell said in an interview with The Associated Press. That’s the most real talk we’ve ever heard from any candidate ever. 

Russell is running for a seat in the Congress of the Republic of Peru and making history as he is the first person with Down syndrome to seek an office in this capacity. 

“We are thrilled that Bryan Russell is running for Congress in Peru,” Michelle Sie Whitten, president, and CEO of Global Down Syndrome Foundation told the Associated Press. “As far as we know, he is the first professional who has Down syndrome running for a publicly elected office, and he is showing the world that we need diversity in all areas of society, including in our governments.”

But Russell isn’t seeking sympathy votes. He wants Peruvians to vote for him because he is the best person for the job. 

Russell is running under the Peru-Nacion, which is a center-right party. While that party has not fared well in previous elections, Russell could be the person to jump-start the movement with his charming demeanor and his go-get-em’ mentality. Russell was already invited to speak for the left movement, and it was there that he “asked people to fight for people like him, regardless of political leanings,” according to the AP. 

Having Down syndrome comes with so many challenges, but Russell continues to prove that he can do anything if he tries hard enough. 

“I learned how to read and write, walk, run and eat, basically to respect myself,” Russell stated. He went on to say, “I want people with my condition to have a voice.”

If you think for a second that he is not qualified to serve the people and make educated decisions when it comes to policies in Peru, think again. This guy is crazy smart. The AP reports that thanks to the support of his parents, he graduated with a degree in communications at the Peruvian San Ignacio de Loyola University. 

Russell said that with his parent’s encouragement, he was able to find his own way. Gladys Mujica, Russell’s mother, told the AP that her son is a symbol and that by running for Congress, he is making history. Indeed he is. 

We’re not sure what the stigma is like for people with Down syndrome, but in the United States, there are so many negative assumptions about it. 

There are actually assumptions that Down syndrome is caused because of incest, and that is entirely false. 

Here’s how Global Down Syndrome Foundation explains the cause of Down syndrome: “In a process called non-disjunction, the two copies of chromosome 21 fail to separate during the formation of the egg, resulting in an egg with two copies of the chromosome. When this egg is fertilized, the resulting baby ends up with three copies of chromosome 21 in each of its cells. The cause of this non-disjunction remains unknown.”

Furthermore, the cause of Down syndrome is truly unknown because it happens so often. At 38 percent of people known someone with Down syndrome. 

The beautiful thing about Russell is that we see the advancement that people with Down syndrome can achieve. 

People with Down syndrome can accomplish so much and are thriving thanks to organizations educating people about it. Also, it’s imperative that people, in general, show kindness, patience, and understanding when it comes to people with Down syndrome. Voting in Peru will take place on Jan. 26, and we want Russell to know that we are rooting for him!

READ: A PhD Student Made History By Writing Her Entire Thesis In An Indigenous Peruvian Language

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