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Aïna Dreßler

My name is Aïna Dreßler , I am 31 years old and currently live in Munich, Germany. I studied environmental- and bioresource management at the university of natural resources in life sciences In Vienna. I have always been closely involved with environmental sustainability given that my father owns and manages two farms in lower Austria. Living on the farm brings attention to topics such as arising bee-mortality rate, overused soils due to permanent monocultures, the declining number of insects and also a decreasing number of species due to pesticide overuse. 

Furthermore I have always enjoyed working with children. I spent many summers as a tennis coach And winters as a ski-instructor. Healthy outdoor lifestyle were always a priority to me. During my college tenure I often found myself working promotional jobs along with a steady job in a chocolate store in downtown Vienna. 
At 24-year-old, completing my bachelors studies I experienced an unplanned pregnancy. but nevertheless decided to have the baby. Despite being incredibly nervous, I found confidence in myself due to the fact that I had multiple years of experience under my belt with kids and 4 younger siblings. Time flew by and I had a problem free and subtle pregnancy. The Basic pre-natal Tests and Screenings  came back without concern indicating no further tests were required. Actually I started to become more and more excited. Due to a placenta insufficiency, my son Aurel was born close to one month early via C-section. Along with the pain after birth the surprising and then traumatizing news was broken to us that Aurel was diagnosed with Downsyndrome. High on morphine I couldn’t comprehend the news at first. The next morning we received the even more traumatizing news that Aurel had a heart deficiency and that a surgery was necessary to maximize his chances of survival. I think it is appropriate to say that in that moment the sky came crashing down. During the following days more and more information started coming in overwhelming us and not allowing us to comprehend what was really going on.  

Six year later Aurel is a positive, happy, cheeky little boy whose heart deficiency is no longer a concern due to a successful surgery. Through multiple channels of therapy his developement is at a steady rise. You may ask what lessons have we learned in the past six years. Unfortunately enough more often than not, did we experience the scary feeling off uncertainty.
Though sad but true, society is not informed enough about Downsyndrome. Abortion rates are at a terrifying 97% when the parents know that the child has Downsyndrome. In Vienna’s largest hospital there are multiple abortions a week after the diagnosis. 
I believe this is the case because a poor image of our kids is portrayed to society. 

YES it is hard, YES there are many burdens, YES you have to be very patient but it is completely possible for people with Trisomie 21 to live a normal, successful and happy life. 

My goal is to bring a positive aspect towards the image of Downsyndrome. It would lead to allow those people to be normally excepted within all societies and allow them to normally attend schools, universities and get a job. 

With the outcome of our project I would support institutions that look to further the idea of a independent life with Trisomie 21.

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