What kinds of people do you admire? Is there a particular quality that you look for in a hero? What do you think qualifies as inspirational? For me there are many different kinds of heroes out there, mostly people who think of others more than themselves. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the kinds of parents I admire and why.

Have you ever had a moment when you lost control and pure emotion took over? I had one recently and I’m not ashamed to tell you about it. I have grown to admire all of the parents on Born This Way for their honesty and courage. I can’t imagine what it must be like to allow cameras into your life and then have the world critique your parenting. The two parents on the show that I can identify most with are Kris (Megan’s Mom) because she’s a single mother, and Joyce (John’s mom) because my son is bi-racial.  Last week while we were at the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention, I had the good fortune to meet Joyce and John. The minute I saw them walk into the room I turned into a star-struck fan with no impulse control. I rushed over to Joyce and awkwardly asked if I could hug her. To me, Joyce is a true hero.

Joyce and John Tucker from Born This Way on A&E

The way John told his own birth story to his friends during season one with such self-confidence said so much about how he was raised. The now famous quote “I’m alive, I’m human,” told the world that the Tucker family valued their son. Not only that, they taught him to be proud of who he was and help others feel that same pride. My eyes well up with tears every time I see that clip. I’m proud that my son now counts John among his best friends. He couldn’t have a better role model, and that’s thanks to Joyce and John Sr.

John Tucker Born This Way A&E



We also got to meet Rachel. Rachel from Born This Way on A&E


In this clip you can see how her parents have helped her become a very independent young woman.


I’m sure the parents of the cast members wouldn’t consider themselves to be anything special. We all love our children and do the best that we can for them. That’s what any parent does. But put yourselves in their shoes for a moment. Consider the cultural pressures that Elena’s parents faced. What about the medical issues that Megan had when she was born? How would (did) you handle those as a young mother? And these parents are all very genuine. I watched in awe as they interacted with fans and families at the convention. There was nothing “Hollywood” about them. You could tell that that they were really there to help others and further the cause. They were so amazed at the attention their children were receiving – I even saw some of the moms waiting in the tremendous lines to get their own children’s autographs!

Born This Way Line

I truly believe that these parents are making a great sacrifice for us and for future parents of children who have disabilities. They are taking the first giant step into the light and showing the world that life in our shoes isn’t as scary and sad as society would have you believe.  I do hope you’ll watch Season 2 of BORN THIS WAY every Tuesday night on A&E Network.

Do you know someone who is raising a child with a disability who you admire? If so, tell us a little about him/her and they could win a $25 Target gift card from Born This Way on A&E!

11 thoughts on “Who’s Your Hero? Born This Way Giveaway from A&E

  1. Katie Hunt is a rocking mom of 3 month old Eliza. Eliza has DS and is facing surgery very soon. Katie’s life has been an emotional roller coaster since she learned of Eliza’s diagnosis. Positive doctors appointments, negative doctors appointments. Traveling long distances to many appointments…she faces each with a determined and tough spirit. With her husband and two other children, she has a fabulous ability to give each a measure of her time in a kind, caring, loving –(sometimes exhausted )way. She has a strong will to live and gives all of herself in every cause she undertakes.

    Katie is inspired by her children to persevere and treasure all she has been given in her life. Eliza is a teacher of many things– before she was born and after her birth. She taught her mom what true JOY is.

    1. Thanks for sharing Katie’s story! She sounds like a strong mamma! You’ve been entered into the drawing. Good luck!

  2. My forever friend Tanya Nix has the most precious lil angel!! His name is Skyler and he is 2 yrs old. He has DS. Shes been through so many ups and downs…but one thing for sure Skyler can always brighten her day!She is an angel herself..she makes and ships baskets to new DS parents all over the world!!

  3. I think we really identify with Steven’s parents. My son also has Mosaic Down syndrome and it is a struggle. We don’t fit in the Down syndrome world and we definitely don’t fit in the typical world. Steven’s parents have shed light on mosaicism for us just getting our start on this journey.

  4. One of my most favorite people in the world and I really admire her as my friend is Denise she has autism and I tell you she can tell you any creatures name in the ocean or on land in spell it for you too she’s so smart so attentive and loves to help people and she has wonderful manners this little girl is so precious to me I was so sad when i got word she had to move back to Germany she amazes me every day and how smart she is she’s my little 12 year old hero my good friend Alexandria is so lucky to have her as a daughter

  5. One of the parents that inspired me early on in my journey was Bobbi Velasquez. Bobbi is a single mom to her son Robert, who was born with Down syndrome and is her namesake, and the master teacher in her life. Because Robert is 10 years older than my son, Kevin, he was always a guidepost for me, in terms of looking ahead to see what Kevin could accomplish. I first met them when Kevin was ten years old, and Robert was 20 years old, and both were on the same Special Olympics basketball team. What impressed me the most about them was their complete joy in each other and the life they shared. They relied on each other and were a happy little unit of their own. Bobbi did not have the helpful support of a spouse. Bobbi did not have other children or much help from extended family, but was complete in her small family of just she and Robert. Robert had many of the health problems associated with babies born with Down syndrome. Some of these issues had required surgery, and had been life threatening. Bobbi had become a registered nurse, and was well equipped to support Robert during many of his medical emergencies. Robert has never let any setback stop him. He earned a black belt in martial arts, swims on a Special Olympic team, and attends classes at Fullerton College, where he is the football team’s assistant. Even though we lived one city away from each other, life has a way of intervening, and I lost touch with Bobbi and Robert. I searched Facebook for them, called the old phone numbers I had for them, but they were not found. I wondered if they had moved out of state, and if we would ever reconnect. Last July our family was blessed to attend the NDSC Convention with our good friends. We enjoyed all of the sessions and meeting up with our friends in the Born This Way Cast. After the convention we had a few days on our own. One afternoon while at Epcot, we were heading toward the elevator and guess who we saw huddled together on the floor taking a break and charging their phones? Yes , it was Bobbi, and Robert enjoying a vacation together with friends. It was great catching up with them. We all made plans to reconnect when we returned to California. They are still a team and doing better than ever. We took photos together and laughed as we reminisced together. Some things don’t change and we are so happy to be reunited as friends again.

    1. Wow Andrea! What a great story! That’s one of the great things about the NDSC conference- it really is one big family reunion. Good luck on the drawing!

  6. Katie Hayes King has always been a great friend! She is encouraging, supportive, kind and caring. In our 25 years of friendship she has often walked beside during the most difficult of times. It is not surprising to me that she is rockin’ as a mom to a young man with Autism. She is a tireless advocate for any and all of his needs, fighting for what’s right. In turn making life better for her son and other kids with Autism as well. Not only does work tirelessly for her son she takes time to educate others as well. I am.proud to call her my friend!

    1. Hi Rebekah! Thanks for telling us about Katie! She sounds like a true friend! Good luck in the drawing!

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