Inspirational Esther Pair defies the odds
When Esther Pair was born, she was immediately diagnosed with Down Syndrome and her parents were told that she would never amount to anything. However, fast forward 24 years and Esther has accomplished more than doctors or other naysayers ever thought possible – including participating in the coin toss for an international cricket match.
Standing at the crease in Sabina Park for the 5th Digicel Pearls ODI as a representative for Digicel with West Indies and India Captains, Darren Sammy and Suresh Raina, at her side, Pair has indeed defied the odds that were stacked against her. After the coin toss, the Special Olympics athlete will return to her preparations for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens which begin next week. Pair has been a member of the Special Olympics Jamaica programme for the past 10 years and will travel with a Digicel-sponsored team to compete in Bocce.
“When she was born, one Down Syndrome expert in particular told me to ‘forget it, IT will never walk or talk’ and another told me that I should ‘train her to be my maid,’” recalls Pair’s mother, Victoria Pair.
Indeed Esther Pair does more than walk or talk. Aside from her bocce which has allowed her the opportunity to represent Jamaica once before in China at the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games, this 24-year old, active young woman excels musically. She enjoys playing her full set of drums and displays excellent hand-eye coordination. She has participated in several events and concerts, including the launching of the Special Olympics magazine, the World Down Syndrome Day celebrations and the Pegasus Hotel Mother's Day Tea Party.
Pair also loves being with her family, she loves cooking, watching television, going out with her boyfriend and playing handheld games – and she is the godmother of her sister's eldest child.
“Esther is very helpful, caring, loving and giving,” her mother boasts. “She adores small children and elderly persons, and would love to be a nurse's assistant someday but right now her dream is to come back to Jamaica with medals for her country. I would personally like to thank Digicel for everything that they have done and will continue to do for my daughter through Special Olympics Jamaica.”
“Esther’s story is one of hope, perseverance and overcoming major obstacles – and it is because of individuals like her that Digicel is so proud to be a sponsor of Special Olympics in the region,” said Karl Donnelly, Digicel Group Head of Sponsorship. “It was our pleasure to have Esther here with us at the 5th Digicel Pearls ODI and we wish her and the rest of the Jamaica team best of luck as they travel to Athens to represent their country.”