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Twitter Post Featuring a Young 'Moana' Fan With Down Syndrome Got Dwayne Johnson's Attention

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Post updated on Feb. 27 to include quotes from Jason Kneen.

On Thursday, Twitter user Jason Kneen shared an adorable picture of his smiling daughter, Rosie, with the caption:

“‘My child has Down’s Syndrome, what should I expect?’ This. 100 percent this.”

His tweet went viral, with more than 8,500 retweets and 89,000 likes. The thread contains pictures and stories from other parents who in turn are sharing the joys and triumphs of having a child with Down syndrome.

While many of the replies to Kneen’s tweet have been positive, not all of them were. However, that didn’t stop Kneen from using his Twitter thread as an opportunity to promote Down syndrome awareness, inviting the world into their lives.

Kneen shared more of Rosie’s story and recounted a time, during Christmas and New Year 2017, when Rosie had to be admitted to the hospital. It’s then that Rosie got hooked on the popular Disney film “Moana,” which features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the charismatic character Maui.

“Rosie and I became thick as thieves over that time and watched Moana together many times and every single day,” he wrote. “Thanks for teaching me all the songs.”

Kneen tagged Johnson in his tweet about Rosie’s love of “Moana” and one more time on another picture of Rosie saying, “Rosebud home from school, having her teatime and watching Moana, AGAIN. has a lot to answer for.”

The following day, Johnson responded to Kneen’s post and replied, “Look at this lovely cookie. Stay strong Rosie! Uncle Maui loves ya. What can I saaaay except you’re welcome.”

Not only does Rosie love “Moana,” but she can now claim Maui as her uncle, and Kneen provided a peek into the world of parenting a child with Down syndrome.

Kneen told The Mighty hearing from Johnson felt amazing, “We keep telling [Rosie] uncle Maui says hi, but she’s oblivious to all the attention she’s getting.” Rosie has now been featured in a clip for BBC Point West and Kneen said Rosie did enjoy watching herself on television.

Kneen said they are pleased with the coverage his tweet is getting as other families are also sharing their photos and stories, “The positivity in that thread and around it has been truly amazing and inspiring!”

The thread clearly shows that parents know their kids with Down syndrome are living life to the fullest and raising a child with Down syndrome is not that different from raising a child without a disability.

Banner images via Jason Kneen twitter post and Wikimedia Commons/Eva Rinaldi

Originally published: February 27, 2019
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