July 8, 2013
by Betsy Chapman
There is no shortage of remarkable Wake Forest students with compelling stories. Today, there is a terrific feature in the Winston-Salem Journal about Eleanor Saffian , a rising senior, and her work with research on Down Syndrome. Eleanor’s younger brother, Charlie, has Down Syndrome – and he has inspired her to take on academic research projects and a summer internship that will help her pursue a career in genetic counseling.
Here’s an excerpt from the story, and a photo from Eleanor Saffian.
“Unlike siblings who might at times view their little brothers as a pain or a nuisance, Eleanor Saffian finds inspiration from her younger brother Charlie.
‘Charlie’s always been supportive of me,’ Saffian said. ‘I don’t think he realizes how much he’s impacted my career path, but he knows he makes a difference.’
Shortly after his birth, 13 years ago, Charlie was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Saffian, a rising senior at Wake Forest University, said that since that day, she has always had a special interest in science and genetics.
Saffian, of Cumberland, Maine, was 9 years old at the time of her youngest brother’s birth, and already had three other younger brothers.
‘When Charlie was born with Down syndrome, I was the oldest,’ Saffian said. ‘It affected us all in different ways, but for me, I was interested in what Down syndrome was and wondering how it was going to affect Charlie.’”
You can read the full story here.
The Office of Family Engagement provides information and support to Wake Forest parents, guardians, grandparents, and family members. The office maintains the Family Engagement Page of the Wake Forest website, which is the primary vehicle of communication with families, as well as our Facebook and Twitter presence.