Thursday, February 2, 2012
Today: “A Very Brief History of International Criminal Law” (Fossum)
Birthdays: Jean Wakely (2/3)
Next Week: Building Low-Income Housing in Minneapolis with Herb Frey (Gleason)
Society has come a long way in its acceptance of those with disabilities, but Tom Tanghe, whose brother has Down’s Syndrome, offered first-hand insight into how the disabled and their loved ones straddle the two worlds — theirs and ours.
He describes his brother Andy, one of six brothers, as a “sweet, honest and loving” individual, who deals in positives, unburdened by the things that consume our lives: careers, status, material benchmarks. On the other hand, Andy constantly confronts his limitations when he watches older brothers play sports, drive cars and attend college.
“The difference is painfully clear to him,” Tom said.
Down’s Syndrome is caused by creation of extra genetic material in the early stages of fetal development. Down’s babies arrive with an extra chromosome that expresses itself in both physical and cognitive limitations. But the range is wide. Some function at a very high level.
Attitudes in both education and medicine have created a much more hospitable world for people with Andy’s disability. But Tom said the loving environment his parents created for Andy made all the difference in the world.
Andy is now 35 years old. He lives in his own apartment and works at Target and the National Guard Armory in Eden Prairie. And he is engaged to a woman who also has Down’s Syndrome.
Tom said he feels privileged to have the relationship he has with his brother.
Guests: Jon Snodgrass (Rich), Daniel Ajpap (Reggie) and our exchange students: Aish, Mathilde, Felecia, Camillo and Nichopat.
Scholarship Enhancement: Mark Gleason lands another grant-in-aid.
— “To India and Back,” our “rock the house” winter social will be Saturday, Feb. 25. Tickets, posters and T-shirts are available. Anyone who is anyone is going to be there. Don’t miss it.
— We will be hosting a Global Study Exchange group from Brasil on Saturday, March 24.
— Jane Fenton announced that the Turkey Trot video is now ready for release.
— Kurt Larson encouraged members to check their information on the weekly bulletin to make sure it is correct. If any changes are necessary, e-mail them to Kurt at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Lee Dilley reported that Jessie Diggens, a world-class cross country skier, who has broken bread with us, is doing well on the U.S. Ski Team. She won four events in national competition and won a silver medal recently in the World Cups. You can follow her at jessiediggens.com.
Feb. 16 – Mathilde Mortensen, Denmark (Barry Carlson)
Feb. 23 – (Esse)
Feb. 25 – To India and Back