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Hey friends! Welcome to the Lucky Few Podcast where we are shifting the narrative by shouting the worth of people with Down syndrome. With your hosts, Heather Avis, Micha Boyett, and Mercedes Lara.

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26 Episodes
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S03 Episode 6: Owning Your Influence and Broadening The Spaces - Tesney Davis on Dual Diagnosis
Tesney Davis always knew she wanted to adopt a child with different abilities, but she never checked the box for Autism. When she discovered her adopted son with Down Syndrome had an additional diagnosis, her world changed, yet so did her mindset. Now, Tesney is a mother of two children, Kirill (12), who has a dual diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Autism, and Clayton (12), her biological son, who has inherited his mom's sarcasm gene and sweet tooth. Kirill was adopted from Russia at the age of five, thanks to what Tesney calls, “the first miracle she’s ever witnessed.” After months of living in Russia with only a few days clothing packed and fighting the court’s initial denial, Tesney and her husband finally brought their son home. Kirill’s extraordinary adoption story has made a profound impact on his family, as well as Tesney’s social media community. She advocates for children with a dual diagnosis with raw and beautiful messages on her Instagram account: @downwithautism.Today, we’re tackling an important, yet not often heard, conversation.  Join us and Tesney Davis as we discuss breaking down the barriers that moms of kids with Autism often feel, accommodating and including children with Autism, and reaching parents of the 8-9% of kids who have dual diagnosis. (This statistic and more is available in the links below.)Connect with Tesney DavisInstagramTwitterFacebookLearn more about having a dual diagnosis:Statistics on Autism from Autism SpeaksStatistics on Autism from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)Information on Dual Diagnosis from NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society)Autism Clinic, University of AlabamaSHOW SPONSORJonas Paul Eyewear PROMO CODE: theluckyfew for 15% OFF your purchase at jonaspauleyewear.comCHECK OUT HEATHER’S NEW BOOKScoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is available for pre-order on Amazon.Head to Youtube and subscribe to The Lucky Few’s NEW Channel: In Search of The Lucky Few. Click here to start watching now! Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support This podcast is sponsored by Anchor
S03 Episode 5: Owning Your Influence in the Business World with Mica May
Mica May believes every day life can be magical and lovely. She strives to delight her family, friends and community by creating spaces to connect and products to inspire creativity and productivity. She is a mama to three kids, Jackson (who has Down syndrome), Madelyn and Harper. She is obsessed with getting her kids to laugh, Thursday date nights with her husband, and lives for the next fun thing. Through her multimillion dollar company, May Designs, Mica teaches the world to see beauty in design and in Down Syndrome.Almost immediately after launching their website and appearing on Good Morning America, May Designs had over 30,000 orders and 25,000 emails. Overwhelmed yet still unafraid, Mica May grabbed a toothbrush and her laptop and flew straight to her printing facility. Life quickly turned into conference calls in the grocery store with three kids in the cart. Over time, this CEO and advocating mama created what she calls, “systems for sanity” that have helped her achieve a blissful business and family balance.All this to say, Mica is definitely owning her influence. May Designs has contributed thousands of dollars to Down Syndrome advocacy groups, and has even provided a scholarship for a Ruby’s Rainbow participant! Mica also designed the famous “Lucky Few Tattoo” and the “Advocate Like A Mother” tumbler. She believes in starting small, and always showing up. So friends, grab a coffee and your May Designs journal and join us for a chat about translocation Down Syndrome, advocating in your business, and how to hold loosely to expectations and tightly to beauty.Connect with Mica MayInstagramWebsiteFacebookShop May DesignsInstagramWebsiteTwitterSHOW SPONSORJonas Paul Eyewear PROMO CODE: theluckyfew for 15% OFF your purchase at jonaspauleyewear.comCHECK OUT HEATHER’S NEW BOOKScoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is available for pre-order on Amazon.Head to Youtube and subscribe to The Lucky Few’s NEW Channel: In Search of The Lucky Few. Click here to start watching now! Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support This podcast is sponsored by Anchor
S3EP4 - Owning Your Influence in the Spotlight with Lisa Gungor
Hey, friends! Thanks for joining us for Episode 4 of this season. You picked the right day to tune in. We’re chatting with Lisa Gungor, a wife, musician, and mama to two girls, one who has Down Syndrome.  Lisa is one of the curators of the two-time Grammy nominated musical duo "Gungor,” the author of the book "The Most Beautiful Thing I've Seen," and a contributor to The Liturgists Podcast. She’s a creative soul who owns her influence to shift the Down Syndrome narrative through her music.Lisa and her husband Michael created their band “Gungor” over a decade ago and wrote mostly Christian songs. In their struggle with infertility, they wrote “Beautiful Things.” Later, they would write the song, “Light” to celebrate their second daughter, Lucy, who has Down Syndrome.  Having a child with Down Syndrome shocked the Gungors, but it didn’t shake their faith as much as leading worship at mega churches did. Join us today as Lisa shares her infamous faith journey, what she believes now, and how Down Syndrome shaped her spiritual world. SHOW LINKSConnect with Lisa GungorInstagramWebsiteLisa’s Faith JourneyThe Liturgist’s PodcastListen to Gungor MusicYoutubeWebsiteFacebookListen to “Light” inspired by Lisa’s daughter with Down SyndromeGet your copy of The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen by Lisa Gungor.SHOW SPONSORJonas Paul Eyewear PROMO CODE: theluckyfew for 15% OFF your purchase at jonaspauleyewear.comCHECK OUT HEATHER’S NEW BOOKScoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is available for pre-order on Amazon.Head to Youtube and subscribe to The Lucky Few’s NEW Channel: In Search of The Lucky Few. Click here to start watching now! Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
S03 Episode 3: Owning Your Influence in Down Syndrome Spaces with Jen Jacob
“Congratulations! You’re going to have a baby with Down Syndrome..” the words Heather dreams a doctor would say when delivering a Down Syndrome diagnosis. Thankfully, fierce advocates like Jen Jacob are here to make that vision a reality. Jen is the co-author of "The Parent's Guide to Down Syndrome: Advice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood" and the author and a contributor for "Unexpected, Stories of a Down Syndrome Diagnosis." Jen is also the co-founder and Executive Director for the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. A former educator and professional development leader, she lives in the midwest with her husband and four children; her youngest son, Owen, has Down syndrome. Jen is the perfect guest to talk about all things diagnosis! Today, we’re chatting about doctor’s appointments, community groups, and Jen’s incredible work with the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. Serving over 9,000 families, Jen Jacob is literally shifting the Down Syndrome narrative, in doctor’s offices and delivery rooms everywhere. What a powerful way to own her influence.SHOW LINKSConnect with Jen JacobInstagramFacebookWebsiteConnect with Down Syndrome Diagnosis NetworkInstagramFacebookWebsiteRockin’ Mom and Rockin’ Dad RetreatsGet your copy of “The Parent's Guide to Down Syndrome: Advice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood” on Amazon.Read “Unexpected, Stories of a Down Syndrome Diagnosis” here or order on Amazon.Watch “A Diagnosis Can Go Well” by DSDN. Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
S3 Episode 2 - Owning Your Influence in Front of the Camera With Amanda Booth
Hi friends! Welcome back to Season Three, Episode Two of The Lucky Few Podcast. Today, we’re chatting with Amanda Booth, an actress, model, and mama based in Los Angeles. She has appeared on network television shows such as Hot In Cleveland, Maron, and Community. Her campaign work includes advertisements for Lancome, Fiat, Hersheys, Target, and Old Navy. Her focus has broadened since becoming a mother in 2014 to her son Micah, who has Down Syndrome. Amanda is now an ambassador for Changing The Face Of Beauty and Global Down Syndrome Foundation as well as a social media advocate. She and Micah work hard to represent the Down Syndrome community on the playground, Instagram, and even magazine covers like Vogue and Anthropologie! But you don’t have to be a model or an actress to own your influence. Amanda believes that whether it’s a trip to the park or an audition, the most important part is showing up.Join us as Amanda shares her journey into the modeling industry, her son’s unique diagnosis story, and the way Down Syndrome transformed her career and helped her achieve her dreams.SHOW LINKSFollow Amanda and Micah on Instagram!Check out Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the work they’re doing to provide current information to families with a prenatal Down Syndrome diagnosis.Changing the Face of Beauty works hard to include models with different abilities in mainstream advertisements. Learn more about them here!Read The Prince Who Was Just Himself.SHOW SPONSORJonas Paul Eyewear PROMO CODE: theluckyfew for 15% OFF your purchase at jonaspauleyewear.comCHECK OUT HEATHER’S NEW BOOKScoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is available for pre-order on Amazon.Head to Youtube and subscribe to The Lucky Few’s NEW Channel: In Search of The Lucky Few. Click here to start watching now! Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
S3EP1 - Owning Your Influence: WDSD & Dear Mom, Conference
Hi friends! Welcome to Season 3 of The Lucky Few Podcast. We are SO glad you found your way here, and on World Down Syndrome Day of all days! There is no better time to talk about owning your influence than right now. So let’s talk about it, with all the moms at Dear Mom, Conference! We’re asking, “What does it mean to be a shouter of worth?” For some mamas it means planning an awareness event in your city, and to others it means blogging, or even adopting! All of these narrative shifting ladies prove that each of us has influence in our spaces, no matter where we live or how many followers we have. This season, we encourage all of you to do the same. Own your influence and shout the worth of individuals with Down Syndrome, every single day. So let’s sit down and chat about what we’ve been up to for the past few months and how we’re owning our influence daily, alongside all of you! What an honor to shout the worth together. Show Links: See more from the Dear Mom, Conference on Instagram! Learn more about Dear Mom, Conference at their Website HereLove the stories of our Dear Mom ladies? Watch them own their influence online: Sonia Barker is lighting up her city blue and yellow on World Down Syndrome Day. She’s owning her influence on Instagram at @soniasjoy Taylor and her husband just adopted a newborn with Down Syndrome. Baby George has shown Taylor that parenting a child with DS does not make you a brave hero, but a very lucky mama! Follow her journey on Instagram at @chosenforjohnson Stephanie is on a mission to change the world’s perspective. She’s doing just that in her new children’s book: He Gave Them Something Extra, available in two months! Isaac’s family is working hard to shift the narrative in his school district. His mother and sisters arranged to have him fully included in the classroom, and he’s rocking it. Hollyce blogs all about her beautifully blended family, including her 1 year old: Hudson! Her blog and Instagram show the world that different is okay and uniqueness should be celebrated.Cailtin and Kori are best friends using their Instagram influence to shout the worth of their daughters: the cutest baby girls with Down Syndrome! They’re on Instagram at @shesjustsoextra and @korityler Monica has an 11 year old son with Down Syndrome. She is sharing her story online and living life with some other lucky mamas in her area with her Facebook group: Healthy Living For Special Needs Moms!Sponsor: Jonas Paul Eyewear PROMO CODE: theluckyfew for 15% OFF your purchase at jonaspauleyewear.comDo you love The Lucky Few? Check out Heather’s new book! Scoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is available for preorder on Amazon.Head to Youtube and subscribe to The Lucky Few’s NEW Channel: In Search of The Lucky Few. Click here to start watching now! Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
S02 Episode 10 - Season Finale: Questions and Answers
Hey, friends! We are so glad you’re here for the final episode of Season Two of The Lucky Few Podcast! Listen along as we relive the best of this season and answer questions from you lovely listeners! From the conversations about inclusion with Kristen, self-advocacy with Kayla, and Down Syndrome in the church with Jamie, to the lessons learned from Terry Brown and parents of children with Down Syndrome, this season has been powerful! The world change doesn’t stop here though! This week, we are answering your questions about how to make time for all of your children and handle fears of the future for your child with different abilities.But friends, it gets better because we are coming back for The Lucky Few Podcast Season Three: Owning Your Influence! That’s right, we’ll be chatting all about what it means to shift the narrative in your daily life and influence your community to shout the worth of people with Down Syndrome! If you know any world changers and narrative shifters, tell us about them. As always, thank you for cheering us on this season. You are the sweetest listeners and advocates and we are so lucky to shift the narrative and shout the worth of people with Down Syndrome with you all! We’ll see you in Season Three!SHOW LINKSCare to listen again? Check out every episode from our first two seasons here: https://www.theluckyfewpodcast.com/episodes/Check out the Mr. Rogers video mentioned by Micha! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BZlyxS37KkSHOW SPONSORLittle Passports: Inspire Your Child to Learn About the World! (Visit https://www.littlepassports.com/lucky/ for special offers and more!)CHECK OUT HEATHER’S NEW BOOKScoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is available for pre-order on Amazon. Visit: https://www.amazon.com/Scoot-Over-Make-Some-Room/dp/0310354838/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543220124&sr=8-1&keywords=scoot+over+and+make+some+room Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
S02 Episode 9 - The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
Welcome to The Lucky Few Podcast, friends! Thanksgiving is behind us and the holiday season is ahead! Struggling with gift ideas for your friends and family? We’ve got you covered. Listen along for the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide, your inside look into this season’s most meaningful gifts for everyone on your list! From personalized children's books to planners, tote bags, and sponsorships, each gift in our guide supports a company that makes the world a better place. This season, give gifts that shout the worth of people with Down Syndrome and bring joy to your children, your friends, and even parents of children with different abilities!But don’t pay full price, we have coupon codes and more for all of our Lucky Few listeners! Happy shopping, friends!SHOW NOTES:GIFTS FOR KIDSHey Wow Books: https://www.heywow.co/Seek and find books that you personalize with your kids faces. Use code: hey10/luckyfew for 10% off your order!Electric Rose Toys: https://www.electricrosetoys.com/about.htmlNormalizing Down Syndrome and other different abilities with dolls and plush wheelchairs! 10% of all profits go directly to the Down Syndrome community.GIFTS FOR FRIENDSLady and Beard: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ladyandbeardGorgeous wooden earrings designed and created by a husband and wife duo who shout the worth of people with Down Syndrome!Holiday Cookie Boxes: http://holidaycookiebox.com/Delicious ready-to-eat cookies shipped right to your door!Dance Happy Designs: http://www.dancehappydesigns.com/Tote bags designed and screen-printed by three friends, one with Down Syndrome!GIFTS FOR MOTHERS OF CHILDREN WITH DIFFERENT ABILITIESLittlest Warrior’s Advocate Like A Mother Tee: https://www.littlestwarrior.com/The perfect t-shirt to rock at your child’s next IEP meeting! Littlest Warrior donates 10% of sales every month to a family adopting a child with special needs. Save 10% with code: theluckyfew. The Glory Days Planner: https://theglorydaysco.com/The perfect planner to help mothers navigate their child’s diagnosis! A portion of all products sold are donated to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network.Ixchel Triangle Bags: https://ixcheltriangle.com/One-of-a-kind bags crafted in Guatemala! Proceeds support artisans and families in Guatemala. Check out the bag inspired by The Lucky Few --> https://ixcheltriangle.com/collections/the-lucky-few/products/the-lucky-few-coban-14GIFTS THAT ARE SHIFTING THE NARRATIVE AND CHANGING THE WORLDCan’t Read, Can’t Write, Here’s My Book: https://www.heresmybook.com/Authored by a man with Autism who used the speech-to-text function on his iPad to write his own book! Proceeds support Special Olympics and Community Living.Preemptive Love Coalition: https://preemptivelove.org/Purchase beautiful apparel, candles, soaps and more to unmake violence and create jobs for refugees in war town areas.99 Balloons: https://99balloons.org/Helping people with different abilities live a full life by proclaiming the worth and beauty of each and every human being. Just $33/month sends a child with a different ability to school in Haiti, Uganda, or Southern Asia.SHOW SPONSORLittle Passports: Inspire Your Child to Learn About the World! (Visit https://www.littlepassports.com/lucky/ for special offers and more!)CHECK OUT HEATHER’S NEW BOOKScoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is available for pre-order on Amazon --> https://www.amazon.com/Scoot-Over-Make-Some-Room/dp/0310354838/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543220124&sr=8-1&keywords=scoot+over+and+make+some+roomADVOCATE LIKE A MOTHER PODCAST: https://www.littlestwarrior.com/pages/advocate-like-a-mother-podcast Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
S02 Episode 8 - Self Advocacy: Down Syndrome in DC with Kayla McKeon
This week on the Lucky Few Podcast, we have the honor of sitting down with Kayla McKeon, the first registered lobbyist with Down Syndrome! Not only is Kayla active in her church and Special Olympics, she is a Ruby’s Rainbow college scholarship recipient and takes classes each semester! Kayla is living proof that people with Down Syndrome can lead full and productive lives and that’s why she’s one of the best self advocates in DC. After discovering her passion for public speaking at a Special Olympics event in her hometown Syracuse, Kayla began interning with a congressman and soon after found herself lobbying in DC! As an independent 31-year-old woman, Kayla flies to and from the nation’s capital to advocate for herself and her friends with different abilities. Currently, she’s lobbying for the Able to Work act that would allow people with different abilities to save more money without losing their benefits. Kayla’s work in DC also includes ending “Law Syndrome” by increasing the sub-minimum wage given to people with different abilities. When’s she not on a plane or in class, Kayla enjoys driving herself to the nail salon and spending time with her awesome parents. Join us this week to hear all about the extraordinary life of Kayla McKeon, a college student, a licensed driver, a podcast host, a public speaker, a reader, and an exceptional lobbyist.SHOW LINKSKeep up with Kayla!Website: http://kaylamckeon.com/blog/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mckeonkay/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kayla.mckeon.7Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/national-down-syndrome-society-orgWatch Kayla lobbying in DC:NBC News Story: https://www.today.com/health/kayla-mckeon-first-d-c-lobbyist-national-down-syndrome-society-t140585CBS News Story: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kayla-mckeon-lobbyist-national-down-syndrome-society/Washington Post News Story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/06/08/this-woman-is-an-exceptionally-effective-capitol-hill-lobbyist-she-also-has-down-syndrome/?utm_term=.297d15524847Now This News Story: https://nowthisnews.com/videos/her/kayla-mckeon-is-a-us-lobbyist-inspiring-others-with-down-syndromeMentioned In The Show:Ruby’s Rainbow: https://rubysrainbow.org/Gigi’s Playhouse: https://gigisplayhouse.org/Special Olympics: https://www.specialolympics.org/SHOW SPONSORLittle Passports: Inspire Your Child to Learn About the World! (Visit https://www.littlepassports.com/lucky/ for special offers and more!)HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDEAre you a business and want to suggest a product for our listeners? Fill out our Holiday Gift Guide to be featured on the show > https://www.theluckyfewpodcast.com/gift-guide-application-2 Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
S02 Episode 7 - Looking Back and Shooting Forward | LIVE from Dear Mom, Conference Utah
Coming at you LIVE from Orem, Utah - the ladies of The Lucky Few podcast take the stage at Dear Mom Conference! Heather, Micah, and Mercedes are reading their “Dear Mom” letters to their former selves and revealing all the things they wish they knew when they received their child’s Down Syndrome diagnosis. From the vulnerable lens of these powerful mamas, we’re working through answers to all the tough questions. What are you most scared of for your child’s future? How can I help my child relate to their peers? How can I shift the Down Syndrome narrative in my daily life? Listen along for encouragement and takeaways you can bring to every parent-teacher conference, every new playdate, and all the tough days in between. We’re looking back, shooting forward, and shifting the narrative.SHOW LINKSFollow Dear Mom on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/dearmomconference/)Check out other speakers from the Dear Mom Conference: https://www.dearmomconference.com/speakers-utah-2018OAKLEY PETERSONWebsite: http://nothingdownaboutit.com/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nothingdownaboutit/?hl=enALAN AND NIKKI LAWRENCEWebsite: http://thatdadblog.com/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thatdadblog/TERRY BROWNWebsite: https://www.sohappytolearn.com/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sohappytolearnatmrsbrownshouse/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/So-Happy-to-Learn-132690756788580/SHOW SPONSORLittle Passports: Inspire Your Child to Learn About the World! (Visit https://www.littlepassports.com/lucky/ for special offers and more!)HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDEAre you a business and want to suggest a product for our listeners? Fill out our Holiday Gift Guide to be featured on the show > https://www.theluckyfewpodcast.com/gift-guide-application-2 Become a supporter of this podcast:https://anchor.fm/theluckyfewpod/support
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