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Stocking shelves and filling hearts: Celebrating associates like Kevin on Down Syndrome Week

By Michelle Enros, Walmart Canada Store Manager

When Kevin was born, he immediately took all the attention. When he got sick, my parents prioritized the specialized care he needed.

I didn’t understand that back then.

Our family didn’t know he had Down syndrome until after he was born. My mother was told he may never talk. And every day since then, Kevin has inspired me.

If Kevin wants to do something, he does it. He learned how to ride a bike after so many falls. He graduated high school, travels, horseback rides. He is an amazing golfer. He represents the Special Olympics. With my dad’s support, he meets with members of Parliament to talk about inclusion.

He doesn’t boast about his accomplishments because that’s not who he is. But I do. I’m his very proud big sis.

Kevin is kind, but not everyone is kind to Kevin. Some people stare at him. He has been insulted and targeted too many times to count. But Kevin never gets angry, never utters a bad word. He always sees the good in everyone.

I’m proud to say that for more than 20 years, Kevin has worked at our Mississauga-Meadowvale Walmart Supercentre. As an overnight CAP associate, he’s dedicated, has perfect attendance and takes great pride in his job, stocking shelves for our customers. He has helped change attitudes towards people with Down syndrome.

When I asked Kevin what he likes most about Walmart, he said, “Walmart is great! I am very proud to say I work at Walmart. It gives me a chance to be like everyone else.”

He has taught me how to see the world differently. Kevin has also made me a better manager. I hire individuals with great attitudes and abilities. In my store, we proudly employ associates with autism. We have a front-end associate who uses a wheelchair. I have learned from Kevin that we all have something very valuable to add and we all deserve the opportunity to show the world what we can offer.

Kevin is an amazing example of what individuals with Down syndrome can accomplish. He makes a lasting impression with everyone he meets.

On Canadian Down Syndrome Week, I want everyone to know the value Kevin adds. He brings so much positive energy wherever he goes.

I know how lucky I am to be Kevin’s sister. He inspires me every day. That’s my brother.