Nicole Goetze, 28, Abingdon, chemical engineer

"My reason for participating in this year's Baltimore Running Festival started exactly 2 years, 5 months and 26 days before I'll run Saturday." "On April 16, 2011, my son Emerson was born. The moment I laid eyes on my son, I knew my life would be changed forever. He was beautiful. My husband and I were on an amazing high that morning, overjoyed with the blessing God sent us. Later that day, the hospital pediatrician told us that Emerson has some of the physical markers for Down syndrome. Six days later, his pediatrician received the results of his chromosome test, and the diagnosis of Down syndrome was confirmed." "My pregnancy and Emerson's birth were very healthy and normal, so the diagnosis came as a shock. But we quickly learned that having Down syndrome, or DS, doesn't mean what it used to mean." For Nicole's full essay, go here.
Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
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