23ABC Community Connection


4-year-old Bakersfield resident has his photo on New York City billboard in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Posted at 6:40 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 21:40:32-04

BAKERSFIELD, Cali — One four-year-old from Bakersfield is making his face known in the big apple after a billboard in Time Square showed off a picture of him and his sister in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

23ABC’s Bayne Froney got a chance to meet this new billboard star and his Mother about this experience as well as this month is so special

"It means, it’s when we speak louder, we shout there worth, i want to shout my sons worth, Zane is amazing, he is brilliant, he has so much to offer this world,” Kellie Roesler, Zane’s Mother, said.

This October, Zane and his sister Zara were featured on a billboard in Time Square in honor of down syndrome awareness month.

“So they were both able to light up times square which was really exciting, they were among 500 other people who have down syndrome,” Roesler said.

Zane's Mother says she's learned a lot about down syndrome in the past four years, when she first found out about Zane’s diagnosis, she felt like she wasn’t ready.

“I was very afraid, I was scared, I didn’t think i was capable of being a parent to a child with special needs, and its not that I was capable it's just he has made me capable, just being able to love him.”

According to Roesler, a child with down syndrome means that they may have to work a bit harder to do things.

"In the end for when you meet the goals for a child, you’ve seen how hard they’ve worked to meet that goal and so your applause is louder and your cheers are greater," Roesler said.

But nothing has ever stopped Zane from being a happy, outgoing kid.

“He is loving and he gives the biggest smiles, the best hugs and he does not discriminate against anybody he will smile and say hi to anybody,” Roesler said.

Now Roesler says it is her mission to spread awareness about down syndrome to help others who may be in similar situations.

“I just want the world to know that people with down syndrome are capable of so many things in life, and let’s not put boundaries on them, let’s not degrade somebody by their looks or what they are possibly not capable of and instead open up the doors and instead make it to where we give them all of the advantages that a typical person would have and just open up our arms and welcome them like any other child,” Roesler said.

For families who do have children with down syndrome, there are resources available at Kern Down Syndrome Network.