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Katie Sullivan

Small girl with a big spirit

Each one of us has limitations to what we can do. What makes us unique is how we overcome those limitations and make our other talents shine through even the most difficult situations. Katie Sullivan is a girl that doesn't let anything stand in her way—especially not Down syndrome. She's super-involved and has enough energy for all her extra-curricular activities and then some!

Describe yourself to and tell a little about yourself.

I am 13 years old. I live in a small village near Cooperstown, N.Y. in a big house with my four brothers and my parents. I like to go to the movies. My favorite movies are Freaky Friday, Teenage Drama Queen, Annie and Grease. I also like “Full House” on Nick. I just got the first season DVD. I love to dance, sing, act, bake cookies, swim and bowl. I am a Girl Scout and I have been in Scouts since kindergarten.

Do you have a role model?

I have two. Both are teachers. Ms. Marshall is my teacher this year and has been my friend for 4 years. She helps me a lot. She is my coach for a running club that I am in called “Girls on the Run.” The other is Tracy Graney. She was my dance teacher for seven years. I love her and she is kind and pretty.

What makes you unique?

I have Down syndrome. It is ok to have Down syndrome. I have to work harder to do regular things, and I’m small, but that doesn’t stop me! I play the clarinet and I am a good dancer.

If you had one wish what would it be?

If I had one wish it would be to keep dancing and be in Marching Band.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be a teacher of some kind.

Tell us about something that you are proud of that you can do.

I am very proud of my dancing. I have been dancing for 9 years. I have taken different kinds of dance. I am taking jazz now. I will have a recital in June.

Katie Sullivan running

Tell us about what you do with the group, “Girls on the Run.”

Girls on the Run [GOTR] is a running club that I do at my after school program. My teacher, Ms. Marshall, and her friend, Ms. Romano, do it. We have talks and activities. We talk about healthy foods and how to stay active. I have cut way back on soda and I drink more water. We run in the spring and fall. Last year I met the founder of GOTR in Cooperstown at our race. Her name is Molly Barker. She said I did a good job in the race. I did the Fun Run part. My Dad ran with me. He said he was a “Dad on the Run.”

Tell us about other activities you do. Which has been the most memorable?

Our family has traditions. One is to put on a play at Thanksgiving. Everyone dresses up. We have different themes each year. It is fun. Another is to go to Old Forge, N.Y. every summer to Enchanted Forrest-Water Safari. My family has done this for 30 years. Now my niece and nephews come with us. Last year we also went to the ocean, it was fun to swim in the cold water. The waves were really big.

Content last reviewed May 01, 2005
Page last updated May 01, 2005

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.