Help cheerleader with Down syndrome meet actress Lauren Potter

Two years ago, I had the priveldge to meet actress Lauren Potter, known for her role on "Glee" as Becky Jackson, a cheerleader with Down syndrome.

It broke my heart when Lauren told me, "(Students) would call me the R-word. And they would push me into the sand. ... I want to tell people to stop bullying because it really hurts."

Desiree Andrews
Through her role, Lauren has inspired so many people — most recently, Desiree Andrews, a Lincoln Middle School eighth grader. After watching the Fox TV show, Desiree, who also has Down syndrome, decided that she too wanted to be a cheerleader.

She told her dad, "If she can be a cheerleader, I can be a cheerleader," Kenosha News reports.

But, during a basketball game, some members of the crowd started making fun of Desiree. Thankfully the team has more than just "basket" balls. One of the kids stepped up and said, "Don't mess with her," the News reports, and the rest of the team banded together in support of Desiree.

Now, the gym has been renamed "D's House" in Desiree's honor and Kenosha News reports that, before the game starts, the boys on the team run over to Desiree for high fives and fist bumps.

Both Desiree Andrews and Lauren Potter teach us that, no matter how many cruel people there are in this world, there are even more kind and brave people who are willing to stand up and make a difference. The girls also teach that, no matter the struggles we may face in our lives, that doesn't mean that we should stop fighting for our dreams. Desiree and Lauren have inspired millions by their refusal the listen to other people's taunts.

Now, I would like to take this a step further. Lauren Potter, if you're reading this, I would encourage you to call or, even better, meet with this girl who considers you a hero. Deneen Smith, the Kenosha News reporter who wrote this story, can be contacted at

To get Lauren's attention, tweet to her @TheLaurenPotter.

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