Thirty three year old Evgeny Anisimov, is a single father from Russia who is on a mission to show the world how unique and wonderful people with Down Syndrome are.
When their son was born a doctor informed them, “I fear that your baby has Down Syndrome”
His wife decided to leave because of her son’s diagnosis so he was left raising their son on his own.
The dad said: “I didn’t know what to do when I learned of the hypothesis that my son had Down Syndrome. I thought my task now was to turn off emotions, ignite thoughts, support my wife because I believed it would be more difficult for her.
“The results of the analysis we were promised in a few days, and until then, I decided not to say anything to her.”
He continued: “I remember that upon learning that my son has Down Syndrome, I left the hospital and cried, but not for long. Later, I was a little embarrassed by these tears. In my life, after all, nothing had changed, in general.
“I was still with two arms, with two legs, my professional knowledge had gone nowhere. My determination, activity, curiosity, and so on—everything was with me. Everything happened as I planned, my son was born. But the child is special, his life and future destiny are already very significant. And I’m roaring here! This is some kind of selfishness! Is it not fair? No, it is my responsibility. You did not have an amniocentesis—it is clear that the probability was low, but still. You wanted a child, so you took responsibility for it.
After all, there are many options: autism, cerebral palsy, genetic mutations … And Down Syndrome is not the worst, as I learned later.”
Evgeny began to do his research on Down syndrome.
“I learned that in Europe, people with Down Syndrome are well-socialized, can live and work independently,” he said. “But the decision I had already made was not influenced by that.”
Abandoning his son just wasn’t an option for Evgeny, unfortunately his wife didn’t share the same feeling.
“At no time did I think of leaving my son in an orphanage, that would be inhumane,” he said. The couple eventually separated, while Evgeny raises Misha alone.
He explained: “When a child is born, he asks the outside world: ‘Am I needed here or not?’ And I answer with certainty: ‘Son, you are needed!’ Being with him, even alone, is a normal act for a normal man. I emphasise—I am a normal man, not some kind of hero.”
Evegny aims to raise awareness about Down syndrome, so other parent don’t feel that children with the condition are a burden.
He explained “I want all the articles about Mishka and me that are being published now to convey that idea to society and instill it. And I also want to support, inspire with my example those people who are or will be in the same situation as me. I try to communicate with those who are within reach, I correspond with those who are far away. I hope that those who have difficulties now, as it was for us, read about us. Have no fear! Everything will be fine!”
Evegny is an inspiring person and he is blessed to have Misha as his son.
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