Living Life Well, for 40 Years and Counting!

When Jonathan Frederick Will was born on May 4, 1972 (his dad’s 31st birthday) people with Down syndrome were expected to live only about 20 years. In fact, the first question the doctor asked was whether they even wanted to take him home from the hospital.

Last week, however, Jon turned 40 years old!

Read this column about a life with Downs Syndrome being well lived, from the perspective of his loving father, George Will.

  • bellagrazi

    May Jon (and sweet Trig) live to be a 100. We need more people with their gift of joy in this world. Thanks for sharing this article, Bristol. Beautifully done.

    • Pamela Masterson


  • Ian

    When I first read about Jonathan, I couldn’t believe it at first, because I thought about 20 years was still an expected age. I’m so heartened to hear that his story and the stories of other similar Americans are changing. God Bless the Angels with Down Syndrome that come into our lives and help turn us into better humans. ♥

  • Frederick lang

    What a great story and a timely reminder of how love can conquer all odds that may be placed before us. May God stop those heartless and hating naysayers in the media world from catagorizing those disadvantaged souls, as being less important because of their disease. Every human being born(or unborn at the time) have a soul and a purpose for coming into this world. They are God’s gift and we are their caretakers, to be stewards of God’s special children.

    Thanks for sharing this story Bristol. God bless you and all the Palin family for their tremendous dedication to and impact on the national and international scene. We may not have had all these important issues come to light if God had not moved your mom to accepting a noble honor of being a vice presidental candidate.

    Rodeo, Ca

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  • Rhonda Moore

    I had a cousin born in the ’50′s with DS. At the time, they asked my aunt if she wanted to commit Cesley to the mental hospital (common in those days). My aunt refused, & raised her to be a kind, loving soul. She lived until her late 50′s, surely because of the love she was surrounded with. We lived in different states, but when we did see each other, the love she gave to each of us was priceless! I’ll never forget my special cousin, Cesley, who accepted us unconditionally & expected nothing in return. We should all be like minded toward anyone considered “different”. So glad your family was bold enough to bring this issue to light, that we all are worthy of love & respect! Thank you, Bristol, for continuing the conversation.

  • RefudiateObama2012

    I have a niece with Down Syndrome. She will be forty years old on her next birthday. My sister was told she wouldn’t live past her second birthday because of the multitude of medical problems she had. She proved the doctors wrong. She has held down a job for over twenty years.

  • Barbara Landi

    Good story to pass on… I had no idea.

  • Georgia

    Thank you for sharing this uplifting story, Bristol. Your blog is a major success and your fans are loving it! My friends and family cannot wait for your new show to start. We will be glued to the TV every week. Keep up the great work!

  • Gary Ernsthausen

    I have a second cousin with DS and he will be 57 in July and just the last year old age is coming on him. He always loved to be useful and keep things neat but one day the green beans went down the garbage disposal and one time we found a bag of potatoes in the freezer after he visited us.