A video has gone viral this week featuring a California man’s emotional reunion with his father. Matt Cobrink is 53 years old and has Down syndrome. He recently went on a cross country trip to see the New York Yankees and his favorite player, Aaron Judge. This meant that Matt had to be away from his father for almost a week. This separation has been a rare occurrence in the 25 years since Matt’s mother died.
When they landed, his sister recorded video of Matt’s pure joy when he finally was reunited with his 88 year old father, Malcolm. His father asks him how the trip was, and that’s a secondary question in Matt’s excitement. It’s a heartwarming video.
I see the love between this father and son, and I’m filled with joy of seeing the special bond that they have. Sadly, in many parts of the world, this scene might not happen. Fetuses with Down syndrome are often aborted.
In 2016, there were just four live births of babies with Down syndrome in Denmark. It’s also true of Iceland to the point where Down syndrome births are almost eliminated. Prenatal genetic testing can reveal risk factors and in some countries, the decision to abort the baby is happens almost 100 percent of the time.
It’s a tragedy.
There are some things that a person with Down syndrome won’t accomplish that might be goals for others. But that doesn’t mean that their lives aren’t worth living. We shouldn’t discriminate against people based on the conditions of someone’s birth, because their life is still a precious thing. Down syndromes lives matter too.
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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.