Connecting children with Down syndrome, two Abilene moms write book during quarantine

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The pandemic is creating new ways for people to stay connected in the Key City, but for two moms, their connection started years ago – sheltering in place from a different disaster.

Cheryl Etter and her family came to Abilene from Florida back in 2017 to escape Hurricane Irma. The family at the time stayed with the Martins, who were longtime friends.

Now three years later, the Etter family finds themselves sheltering in the same place during the coronavirus, except this time instead of using the hours to catch up, they’re working on a major project.

“It just seems normal to them. Like of course our moms would write a book about us, like why wouldn’t they?” said Angie Martin.

Martin and Etter, who have been friends for years, started writing a book about their children back in the summer, but are using this time in quarantine to complete a few finishing touches.

“Instead of having the back and forth of email, instead of having the back and fourth of text, I can have Angie anytime I want,” said Etter.

The character names aren’t the only thing these four share with the book though. The pages are actually based on the families’ real life experiences sharing what it’s like to raise someone with Down syndrome as well as what it’s like to grow up having it.

“Everyone of us when we sit down to read a book, we want to find a bit of ourselves in a story,” said Martin.

“[We thought] This is what we can do, we can write a book. There’s not that many books about kids with down syndrome,” said Etter.

The two are hoping to bridge that gap with this book, showing that their kids are just that: kids.

“We want to put this in your hands and be like, ‘We are more alike than different, we are better together, look at these two characters that I am like,'” said Martin.

The two moms are now in the final stages of getting the art work done for the book and hope to have it completed by this fall.


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