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22 Reasons My Brother With Down Syndrome Is A Badass

From working at the Massachusetts State House to being featured on "Sesame Street," Brian, now 25, leads a pretty great life.

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1. He has been to the Special Olympics in three different sports.

Brian flexing with his sisters, Maggie and Evie. He has been to the Special Olympics for soccer, track and field, and swimming.
Picture taken by Julia Heffernan.

Brian flexing with his sisters, Maggie and Evie. He has been to the Special Olympics for soccer, track and field, and swimming.

2. He has lobbied in D.C.

Brian asking Robert Primus from Representative Michael E. Capuano's office to support the Prenatal Screenings Act.
Image owned by the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.

Brian asking Robert Primus from Representative Michael E. Capuano's office to support the Prenatal Screenings Act.

3. He's met celebrities, including Chris Cooper and B.J. Novak.

Brian with B.J. Novak.
Picture taken by Maggie Heffernan

Brian with B.J. Novak.

4. He works at America's most beloved ballpark.

Brian with Red Sox great Luis Tiant.
Picture taken by Daniel Heffernan.

Brian with Red Sox great Luis Tiant.

5. He dressed up as the pope for Halloween.

Picture taken by Julia Heffernan.

6. He has helped pass multiple disability bills into law while working at the Massachusetts State House.

Brian works for Representative Kay Kahn, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, and Governor Charlie Baker.
Image owned by the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.

Brian works for Representative Kay Kahn, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, and Governor Charlie Baker.

7. He's spoken at Harvard, Boston University, and multiple local elementary schools about his work as a disability advocate.

Brian speaking at an elementary school outside of Boston.
Image owned by Understanding Our Differences.

Brian speaking at an elementary school outside of Boston.

8. He passed all Massachusetts standardized testing and earned his high school diploma.

Brian graduating from Newton North High School.
Picture taken by Newton North High School.

Brian graduating from Newton North High School.

9. He was incredibly flexible as a child...

Picture taken by Julia Heffernan.

10. ...and he still is.

Picture taken by Maggie Heffernan.

11. He's one of the best dressers I know.

A portrait of Brian in one of his tailored suits.
Portrait drawn by Maggie Heffernan.

A portrait of Brian in one of his tailored suits.

12. He is an avid fan of both of his sister's track and field teams.

Brian showing his support for the Tufts Jumbos and the Haverford bees.
Picture taken by Julia Heffernan.

Brian showing his support for the Tufts Jumbos and the Haverford bees.

13. He flies through bestsellers.

Brian after finishing Boys In The Boat.
Snapchat taken by Julia Heffernan.

Brian after finishing Boys In The Boat.

14. He's written hundreds of pages of television shows during his lifetime.

Brian and his mom looking over the script of one of his shows. Brian uses Kurzweil text-to-speech software to listen to his scripts after he has written them.
Picture taken by Daniel Heffernan.

Brian and his mom looking over the script of one of his shows. Brian uses Kurzweil text-to-speech software to listen to his scripts after he has written them.

15. He can fall asleep anytime, anywhere.

Brian (left) and a friend ptfo.
Picture taken by Julia Heffernan.

Brian (left) and a friend ptfo.

16. He helped campaign for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Brian standing next to Patrick.
Picture taken by Daniel Heffernan.

Brian standing next to Patrick.

17. He was featured on Sesame Street as a child.

Picture taken by Julia Heffernan.

18. He has his own website.

To learn more about Brian and his life's work, you can visit www.brianspeaks2u.com .
Image owned by Mass Advocates for Children.

To learn more about Brian and his life's work, you can visit www.brianspeaks2u.com .

19. He was featured in three musicals in high school.

Brian (center) acting in West Side Story.
Picture taken by Julia Heffernan.

Brian (center) acting in West Side Story.

20. He took classes at community college.

Brian with his parents at the Transitional Scholars Awards Ceremony at Mass Bay.
Image owned by Mass Bay.

Brian with his parents at the Transitional Scholars Awards Ceremony at Mass Bay.

21. His memory of obscure literary characters is uncanny.

Screenshot taken by Maggie Heffernan.

22. And he brings joy into the lives of everyone he meets.

Picture taken by Evie Heffernan.

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