Dad Draws Comic Starring His Daughter With Down Syndrome to Show She's Like Any Other Teen
The father of a daughter with Down syndrome has turned her into a loveable cartoon character to show the world she’s like any other teenager.
For more than a year and half, Fred Willis has been drawing a daily cartoon inspired by his 16-year-old daughter Jessica. He calls the comic "Just Jessica" because both he and his daughter want people to know that is who she is - just Jessica, not Jessica with Down syndrome.
Willis is a registered nurse working in mental health and draws the cartoons at night. He tells INSIDE EDITION that they discuss the cartoon around the dinner table and the whole family pitches in with ideas.
The witty cartoon is based on Jessica’s daily life, and features her doing normal teenager tasks like homework, loading the dishwasher and making smart remarks to her parents.
"Jessica loves the cartoons," Willis told INSIDE EDITION. "It's the first thing she looks for each morning when she comes down for breakfast. Some she loves, some she is critical of and some she just doesn't get. But she understands the message behind the cartoon."
Willis says that the message is clear: "People with special needs are no different than anybody else. We’re more alike than different."
To see more of the comics, check out their "Just Jessica" Facebook page.