Local twins to be highlighted in Times Square for Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Posted at 9:37 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 00:25:26-04

A set of Treasure Valley twins will be taking the spotlight in the Big Apple this September.

Charlie and Milo McConnel will be featured in a video slideshow to highlight Down Syndrome Awareness Month in New York City.

"It's a pretty big honor!" the twins' mom Julie McConnel said. "They'll be on those big jumbo tron screens in Times Square!"

McConnel submitted a photo of the twins sitting side-by-side smiling ear to ear to be considered for the Times Square feature video. A short while later, the family learned the twins were selected.

"I take pictures of them all the time, every day, I have thousands of photos but this one was a real gem," she explained.

The couple learned the fraternal twins were both diagnosed with Down Syndrome 11 weeks into their pregnancy. At first, it was a scary diagnosis for the mother of six.

"In hindsight now I think, 'Good grief, what was I so scared of? I mean, there's nothing scary here!" Julie McConnel said.

The Nampa mom says her two boys are just like other kids, learning new things everyday, just at a different pace.

"These guys are almost two," McConnel says,"They're not walking yet, but they will! They'll walk, and they'll go to school, and they can have jobs when they get older."

The twins are already tackling sign language, learning communication skills and showing signs of a bright future ahead.

The main message from mom? Don't underestimate anyone just because they have Down Syndrome.

"the best thing is for them to be loved and treated like anyone else," McConnel said. "They need people who love them and support them and care about them and give them every opportunity they need to be who they can be."

The McConnels will be participating in this year's Buddy Walk in Boise, a yearly tradition hosted by the Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association. It's scheduled for October 14, from Capitol Park to Julia Davis Park.