Spanish woman blazes trail as first European parliamentarian with Down’s syndrome

Europe’s first parliamentarian with Down’s syndrome is eager to improve society for others with “different abilities”.

Mar Galcerán joined Spain’s People’s Party when she was just 18 years old, and worked as a civil servant for over 20 years before joining Valencia’s regional Parliament in September.

Speaking to The Guardian, the 45-year-old said: “It’s unprecedented. Society is starting to see that people with Down’s syndrome have a lot to contribute. But it’s a very long road.”

‘Good example’

Galcerán reflected: “I want to learn how to do it well, for Valencianos, and more importantly, for those of us who have different abilities.”

“I want people to see me as a person, not just for my disability.”

Agustín Matía Amor of Spain’s Down’s syndrome federation thanked Galcerán for the four years she worked helping families of children with the condition.

He said her appointment was both “great news and a recognition of her work and the many initiatives she was involved in. It’s a good example of what is possible.”

World Record

Last month, a young woman with Down’s syndrome was praised for passing on her love of swimming to others.

Scottish Swimming CEO Euan Lowe hailed Cerys McCrindle’s work as a swimming instructor for South Ayrshire Council as ‘an inspiration’.

The 22-year-old, who started swimming competitively aged 11, was invited to join GB Down Syndrome Swim team in 2017. She holds a European record and two World Records with her relay teams.

Under Britain’s current legislation, abortion is permitted up to 24 weeks for most reasons but is available up to birth for children deemed to have a disability – including Down’s syndrome.

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