Madison Tevlin is a 12-year-old girl who loves to sing and loves the John Legend song "All Of Me." Normally, this wouldn't exactly be newsworthy, but Madison is different than other girls her age: she has Down syndrome.
A video of her belting out the tune has gone viral, and amassed over two million views on YouTube in less than two weeks. The video is both entertaining and informational, as clips of Madison singing are interspersed with facts about Down syndrome that explain how her performance is truly a remarkable accomplishment. For instance, most people born with Down syndrome are unable to sing, as their condition renders their voices "gruff and low-pitched." Madison also has to use twice the standard vocal energy of a person without Down syndrome just to speak, never mind sing. Additionally, people with Down syndrome often have problems with short-term memory--but Madison was able to remember the nearly 350 words in the song perfectly and performed the song with impressive stage presence.
Madison strengthens her voice by working on vocal techniques and recently showed off her talent with a video cover of John Legend’s “All of Me.”
In the touching video, the singer shares that she wants her cover to affect others. "I want to inspire," she said. By defying the odds, she’s doing just that.
While the video begins with the fact that "Madison is defying statistical odds" in regards to her singing ability, there's another set of odds she defied before she sang a note: the fact that she's even alive. Most children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted following their prenatal diagnosis. While it's understandable that an expecting mother would be afraid to give birth to a child with special needs, hopefully videos like this one can show that a person with Down syndrome can lead a perfectly normal life in spite of their difficulties.