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EXTRA

Some people are just extra without even trying. Right down to their DNA — as in, an extra chromosome.

Meet Trista Kutcher. Actually, you might already know her.

In middle school, she was chosen to travel to Ireland for the Special Olympics as a gymnast, where she earned two gold medals. During those middle school years, her mom asked a teacher who taught deaf students to let Trista come to his reading class. The story was “Black Beauty.” The next morning, Trista handed her hairbrush to her mom and finger-spelled g-r-o-o-m, asking her to “groom” her long blond hair. She revels in learning new things.

God-given Talent

When she worked at Bitty and Beau’s coffee shop in downtown Charleston, she was known as “Trista the Barista,” and was bestowed the title of Director of Community Relations after only one year. As the founder of Trista’s Sunshine Company, she now sews comfort headbands for health care workers who wear masks, and makes beach bags and totes, and dog items. Recently, her products were purchased to be a staple in a local store. She revels in her accomplishments. Yet, if she had been born a few years earlier, she may not have even lived.

The Times We Live In

Trista began her revelry here on this earth in June of 1989. That date is significant because only five years earlier, as a newborn with Down Syndrome (DS), she may not have been given the chance to live.

Some troubling facts about DS include:
People with DS and other disabilities were a key target in the eugenics movement that studied how to arrange human reproduction to increase the occurrence of characteristics considered desirable—and to prevent those that weren’t — which influenced Hitler’s first mass murders. (source: globaldownsyndrome.org)
As recently as 1984, doctors in the U.S. refused to provide lifesaving procedures, such as heart surgeries, to people with DS. Today, there are adults with DS, dying in their 30s or 40s, simply because a doctor refused to perform heart surgery when they were infants. Even feeding a newborn with DS was considered a “lifesaving measure.” (source: globaldownsyndrome.org)
Some doctors and fathers used to conspire to tell mothers of newborns with DS that their babies had died; when in fact, those babies were quickly and quietly placed in inhumane institutions. (source: globaldownsyndrome.org)
Countries like Iceland are seeking to eliminate DS entirely with prenatal testing. The abortion rate for pregnancies following a DS diagnosis is 100% in Iceland, 98% in Denmark, 90% in the UK, 77% in France, and 67% in the US. (Source CBS News)
Follow Trista on Instagram @tristathebarista

A Difference Maker

Thankfully, Trista was born into a family who let her revel in all she was created to do. A “public figure” on Facebook and Instagram, Trista has north of 50,000 followers. Skirt! magazine described her as “fearless.” She is not only a local celebrity, but has had air time on such national shows as Good Morning America, the CBS Nightly News, Live with Kelly and Ryan, Good Morning Sacramento, and other news stations across the country. Michaels craft stores named her a #DifferenceMaker in May 2020.
She is also a dancer and weight lifter, who loves to work out to music by the rock band, KISS. Trista is never not smiling. (Apologies for the double negative to her mom, who is a retired English teacher, but “always” smiling, just doesn’t have the same impact.) For Trista, life is a celebration full of her favorite colors, light pink, and blue. She revels in sharing her God-given talents through her work and making others happy.
“Accept who you are, and revel in it.”
Mitch Albom, Author
Author, Mitch Albom once wrote, “Accept who you are; and revel in it.” No one does that more confidently or more joyfully than Trista Kutcher!
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