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A Remarkable Father and Son Discuss Down Syndrome

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 19, 2020 3:09 pm

A Remarkable Father and Son Discuss Down Syndrome

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 19, 2020 3:09 pm

Aaron and Greg Tornquist return to the show to share their journey with Down Syndrome. Aaron (42) brings a zeal for life, a great sense of humor, and a spot on Elvis Tribute Hobby! 

Greg is an award winning songwriter who offers a lifetime of wisdom to families living with a special needs child ...particularly those with Down Syndrome

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Your caregiver with arrows burn your funerals murder. This is the nation's number one show for you as a family caregiver are you doing this is for those who are knowingly, voluntarily, willingly putting themselves between the vulnerable love one in even worse disaster. Maybe it's somebody that you figure whose age. Maybe somebody to give us addiction issue with alcoholism issue may be of special needs issue in your family my case somebody who has to deal with the effects of trauma. I'm in my 35th year as a caregiver is horribly 35 years of this and if you will be a part of the show 877-655-6755 877-655-6755 with me always. Is the man who has a great main but doesn't cause pain. He is John Butler. The count of muddy disco John how are you feeling I am doing great how about yourself. Just lovely.

Well, I got I got this week I got have surgery this week right going to work on my knee. I have a bad knee and I don't know what I asked the doctor said what what what what I do not.

I don't remember doing anything really unusual to it and he said you turn 57, really, that this clear all your fault. Clearly my well getting this getting old is that everything is is in the brochure so anyway that's what I got a deal with that but they said that I will be right as rain it that this is a fixable problem as long as my check clears. And I gotta tell you, when they been hounding me for the money.

Evidently the orthopedic world is hard up, because they been hounding me for it and make sure to dig by your party. Have you think I'm like yeah that's okay just a little afraid of telling people when you come up lame out here in Montana because you know when you come up blame is a horse. I hear they shoot you. You know that was part of the treatment program or not. Anyway hey listen, this is October. October is a special month for a lot of reasons. We had a couple weeks ago we had on her friend Jenny with the Triscuits awareness month. This is also down syndrome awareness month and in the past I've had a wonderful guest, a young man who I've known since he was just a kid and his name is Aaron Congress that his father Gregor with us today and Aaron until Aaron, he is the cohost, with the most and us Aaron you with me today. I I am so glad he Gregor with us as well and I got to ask you before we get into this now you have down syndrome, but as your dad's older do you feel like you're becoming your dad's caregiver now all the way. But what about you Gary for your dad.

Now he's getting get old Archie Greg 22 years you all my goodness you Aaron. You been caregiving for 35 years. Aaron will yeah you got me on this one.

You got you login more time on this one more year, but I is so you don't hear one of things I admire about you is how how fiercely independent you are and and not only are but desired to be and how wonderful you live life you you you do not sit on the sidelines.

You get out there and you live life and you embrace it to the fullest.

Elvis tribute artist for those who never met Aaron. Aaron is that bodily air doesn't have anything to do with the fact that you are named after Elvis Pressley of it was that the case that Elvis Aaron Presley is that is that part of it is that why you grafted to tell me why you got into the Elvis tribute artist business will Elvis had my name on my name that, but that's all it took to sell you.

You knew you were you are you are it for life and you got it you you you got multiple of what what your favorite what your favorite era of the Elvis ID like the younger Elvis the middle Elvis the heavyset Elvis. Which one do you like the best why he can't 1956 and what is your favorite song like Molly on did you know your dad your dad probably met this guy but we lost a guy that wrote one Elvis is big hits affect one of his big comeback hits in the ghetto. Mac Davis, we just lost Greg.

If you ever met Mac Davis. I never was to meet him, but I have a lot of well what oh what an amazing song and I think that, did you ever hear the story of how that song got cut got will have a deadly Mac Davis was was at dinner with Nancy Sinatra of all things in the cities get this song called in the ghetto and he's been wanted Elvis to cut it. He just couldn't get to his people can get an Nancy Sinatra said I would be having dinner with him tonight. Let me have it now, so I'll give it to him that I thought that was kinda cool show. Show show business where you going, Aaron and Elder heat when what a good thing that he was so into Albert that he made me take him to great on her 16th birthday. Right. And when we got there, I'm outside, that's where he knee. We both know they were there. I didn't know when I need Aaron Aaron and he didn't know everything. Aaron felt like he have ownership of the actual great well I stand in the way that when there was there he was standing in a line is kind great. I've been here more constant. That's probably what night last time I heard that you actually took a date to Graceland. Is that true Aaron called the house that they go going to going to Graceland had that date go without a fun day.

Client called out great but we did see that she enjoyed as much as you did with I will Aaron let me ask you question okay we have this thing called national is it's down syndrome awareness month, we dedicate a whole month to recognizing individuals with Down syndrome in their families and so forth. What is that mean to you what is when you think about that as somebody who is now live with down syndrome now for your 4041 or 42. I just 42 so as somebody who lives with down syndrome and you hear this a down syndrome a whole month that we recognize individuals and their families with down syndrome. What does that mean to you a lot I know, I know now back in now and I today on that one guy call on Park yeah yeah him you just met him yeah yeah yeah I let out Down syndrome Society was on the corner of Broadway. I lived on Bond St. in New York and walked to the corner of the floor and Christopher could not of been warmer and nicer wonderful spokesman for my son Aaron was saying Aaron a wonderful spokesman for down sooner, because I think that you have. You know you have you have this incredible zest for life. You know and and I and I really appreciate that about you know what one of the things that your dataset about you Aaron that stuck with me said this many years ago to me and he said that you are a wise solo. A wise so I know I do not wear Robin called why something else but I don't.

But it did mean was sold but but but John.

But John calls me that it's a family show job but you know I am. I think Aaron there are so many men out there who would would would weep openly to hear that their father consider them a wise so and I think I can think of no greater and higher thing to say about your son for a father to say about somebody's a wise solo meant that to me. It always stuck with me. Aaron that your dad thinks that way of viewing and you know is he is been a tremendous father to you, and I watched through these many years with you. What are some things about your dad that you admire this or some specific good answer, though now that's a great it is there something specific that sticks out immediacy what what is something specific that sticks out about your father that you really admire and that touches your heart.

Why does Erin talk a lot about talking louder and hot made man man not been told.

Those are meaningful things. It is because I noticed that you speak a lot of mean you certainly come on the show and and you do speak when you get out there and do you ever get nervous when you speak in front of people I have did your dad help you with that or is that just natural. That's a that's a very what's listed as one of the biggest fears for people with the most common thing is his anxiety over public leaking. So, something special. You know, let me interject something about the movie.

One of the kind of life that I don't care what you like that always taught me face my fears through those words right back at you know this that's that's actually hilarious.

Will Aaron and as you as you think about this month.

I don't I don't look at just simply October is the month when we think about Down syndrome and in the families and and how it affects families because I think it's a year-round type of thing and and it used to be something where I think a lot of people were were afraid of, or people this thing somewhat differently and now they don't receive such a a a loving embrace of the normalization of so many that are living with this.

What would you say to other families that are you facing this baby for the first time about me. Maybe they just found out that they have a little baby with down syndrome. What would you like to save those families like anybody else like it out without you know there are a lot of different support mechanisms in place now to help families with that in the come to grips with that there were there for your dad when he was a young man with when you were when you were little boy and your dad's kinda helped blaze a lot of of trails for lot of folks, you know, Aaron. By the way, did you know that the the lady that is being right now existing whatever the growth of the process of becoming a Supreme Court justice has a Down syndrome child.

Did you know that I her name is Amy Cody Barrett and one of her children has down syndrome and that I thought he was up there with the introducer family and so forth and so I don't know if that means that your dad would then be qualified to be a Supreme Court justice article about that. My how he looks. I don't know how Greg looks at a black robe, but will live in. If you see him wearing it. I'd like a picture that but later what am I the word judge. Not a little older, she turned to a beautiful redhead and another one beautiful blonde in an evening. My thought is that there which one would you choose and Aaron not to judge IK: well raising reason to another point I want to have just a little bit of time I have here and you have something is called your your war room and I know when when Gracie was diagnosed with my wife was diagnosed with the coronavirus you had her name up there in your room and that's where you go to parade your pretty serious about it, aren't you not Bible told about what it says to you closet are what got you have a lot of names in that room of yours, don't you, that you pray for yeah why people lot lot about grandma laying our one about going on a lot, will, and we know that and I told her to Gracie about your dad sent me the picture of the room there and show that to Gracie when she was really sick with this and she got tears in her eyes because it meant a lot to know that you are praying for her.

Aaron and and that that again just reaffirms so much of what your dad says you're a wise soul, but you're also compassionate, so when you feel deeply for folks that are hurting and you. You have inspired more people, not because you deal with down syndrome air just because you're a great guy. You're just a great guy and and and and and the humility just as humble as the why one hour My why and a lot of people in California. Now why don't you want Potter to play great thing that he met Lauren Potter in California showed Lee right right before I switched to your father. When asked, Republic of course, but I want to see woman question who's the most famous person that you ever met. You can't use me Aaron was the most famous person that you've ever been with Brian he met Lou Brian not bad where where I know that apartment okay well who's about Aaron else, if you get this book really interesting or famous that you've met why Billy Ray fire that are that's a pretty big name yeah you met Vince Gill have that is so awesome that man Bob say a man Bob was. That's that is wonderful here will if you cannot take just a moment to ask your dad a few questions I want to know how much I appreciate very much in doing this would be. I saw a picture that came up on my phone and said no you have Facebook and other things look about them say this day, four years ago. It was a picture of you and Aaron and John that I took at the studios their WAC and it was such a such a great public is arrogant actually sit in and cohost with the show there in the studio. I'm sorry we can't do that with you by phone here, then, in today's world of air due course of a long ways away from Nashville, but John still there national but Greg would you think of this month. You know I'm I'm sure you have a lot of what I've talked about this privately in Utah but on the show. What are some thoughts that you have for families right now that are as is. Aaron said just just treat them. Don't you just love them unconditionally. Their subversive dads out there right now that are facing this for the first time. What are some things that you like to offer them computer. I've been out now for four decades and in that month and leave time Colby Dave Coleman has impacted that you start with those fortunate enough to have jobs and now have lost their jobs or can't quite and loved it. They just love him and gave it up.

Recall that they close down the bike here in Nashville and so he locked at the lock with this huge guy he lot going bowling bold 233:1 that he lot that he basically locked everything down to just hanging out. I have precondition so I would basically hang out so far been faith but we are under 72nd game of Monopoly 70 ever playing or not you actually go broke game 72 and Aaron had six more games to hold games even get even with him find we find I find joy trying to daily with simple and just know copy okay bird yard and trying to get in my current okay biplane, my guitar and writing and those out there who are dealing with this for the first time.

I do know couple years of help the family through who had just what you said Down syndrome child and another guy have actually had down no child and she's doing great now, but it wasn't easy at first and hard on marriage with caregivers when there suddenly thrust into that role. One thing to watch her parents age and then have caramel meant they think it all done that as well.

But it's a different thing to deal with with your like a cuddly change forever and there someone who called you and your wife or girlfriend or whomever the parent and will always those people who are starting out now with the have have a a lot of burn but the most important lesson what my son said like they were normal. Normal.

Don't they like great words. Greg and I know you not go back now 30+ years and I got no Aaron since he was just a little boy and mean so much to me that you guys took the time to call in today. Aaron, can we do this in October.

Aaron you market down. Greg was son Aaron Turnquist to the most wonderful and you'll ever meet, and Aaron you really are a wise soul Greg you're a wise soul as well. Thank you for blessing us with the show today. We got no time is up.

Love you both have a great this is over. The caregiver will be right.

Rosenberg ever helped somebody walk the first time I've had the privilege many times through our organization. Standing with when my wife Gracie gave up both of her legs follow this horrible Rick that she had as a teenager and she try to save them for years and if it just wouldn't she relinquish them and thought wow this is that I'm not happy legs anymore. What can God do with that and then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel to put legs on her fellow amputees and that's what we been doing now since 2005 was standing with hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana and you can be a part of that through supplies through supporting team members through supporting the work that were doing over there, you can designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you can be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking and standing with.com would you take a moment ago understanding with.com and see how you can give they go walking and leaping and praising God. You can be a part of that@standingwith.com hey this is John Butler producer, hopefully caregiver and I have learned something that you probably all know that Gracie, his wife lost her legs many many years ago and started a prosthetic limb outreach ministry called standing with her, and recently they ended up with a rather unique and unexpected partner, Peter had a conversation with Gracie and with Gracie when you envision doing a prosthetic limb outreach. Did you ever think that inmates would help you do that, not in a million years. When you go to the facility run by core civic over Nashville and you see that faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you have helped collect from all of the country that you put out the plea for and their disassembly sell these legs like what you have your own prosthetic arms and orange everything when you see all this. What do you make me cry because I see the smiles on their faces and I know I know what it is to be locked in place where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out course, being in the hospital so much and so long and so that these men are so glad that they get to be doing as as one man said something good family with my hands.

Did you know before you became an amputee that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled now had no idea and I thought a peg leg. I thought of wooden legs. I never thought of titanium and carbon lags and flex the sea legs and all that. I never thought about that as you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that there there helping other people they'll walk there, providing the means for the supplies to get over there. What is it do to you. Just on the heart level. I wish I could explain to the world. What I see in here and I wish that I could be able to go and say the this guy right here Denise go to Africa with that. I never not feel that way out every time you know you always make me have to leave. I don't want to leave them. I feel like I'm at home with them and I feel like can we have a common bond that would've never expected that only God could put together. Now that you've had experience with it what you think of the faith-based programs.

The core civic offers.

I think they're just absolutely awesome and I think every prison out there should have faith-based programs like this because the return rate of the men that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one are racist and amazingly low rate compared to those who don't happen and I think that says so much that has anything to do with me just has something to do with God using somebody broken to help other broken people. If people want to donate or use prosthetic limbs, whether from a loved one who passed away or you know somebody well-groomed you donated some of your own for the how to how to do that, please go to standing with hope.com/recycle staining with hope.com/recycle. Thanks Grace


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