The Norm-Defying Chromosome
Qiu Yan defied doctor’s prediction which said she wouldn’t live past the age of 5
We all love a good underdog story. Tales about how those with less privilege compared to most of us can embrace their differences to make life meaningful, no matter how tough it can be.
In light of World Down Syndrome Day, you can count on us to bring you an underdog story that very well reminds us to not take anything for granted, regardless of how unimportant it may seem.
Here, we bring you a story of a close-knit family which treats their youngest Down syndrome member of the family just like any other normal child - with love, patience and devotion.
Check out the full video interview here:
Qiu Yan is 21 this year.
Two days after giving birth, Nicole Ho was informed by her doctor that her youngest newborn child, Ng Qiu Yan, is born with Down syndrome.
But instead of giving up, Nicole decided to cope as best they can with their lives, and one of the most life-changing decisions they made as a family was to start a full-time business that allowed them to spend more time with Qiu Yan.
Right after Qiu Yan was born, the family was told that she wouldn’t live past the age of five.
But evidently, not only did she defy the doctor’s life-expectancy estimation, she also turned out to be quite the strong fighter and an inspiration in the family.
Initially, Nicole and her husband had to spend a lot of time bringing her to the hospital to meet different kinds of doctors. Qiu Yan was also required to attend therapy sessions to assist with her disabilities.
These just prove what a fighter she actually is!
Qiu Yan is a source of happiness that her family has been gifted with. Smiling and loving others unconditionally is what she knows best.
Above all, she has become a symbol of patience within the household. Everyone, including her two older siblings, had to treat her with patience while learning the best ways to take care of her.
In turn, Nicole said that the family has actually learned a lot from her, and that Qiu Yan is the reason why the family has such a close bond with one another.
She also plays a big role in Nicole Kitchen’s day-to-day operations, including packing, labelling and making fresh pasta - activities that Qiu Yan enjoys very much.
“Besides being involved in cooking and baking, she also loves to sew. We have to spend a lot of time to guide her through sometimes, but we’re glad to see her enjoy what she is doing.”
The best sisters
Due to circumstances, both her elder sisters, Rachel and Nicole Ann, were able to spend more time with Qiu Yan during their younger years which forged a strong sisterhood bond.
Rachel loves spending time with her youngest sister.
“Special? I don’t find her special, she’s just like us and
we are quite glad that we have her in the family”
Most importantly, they love and cherish Qiu Yan just as she is, and wouldn’t take her any other way.
Before Qiu Yan came into the picture, Nicole Kitchen was a part-time business selling frozen foods and baked pastries and cakes.
Some of the products purchasable from Nicole Kitchen.
Eventually, Qiu Yan’s father, Ng Yew Hung, quit his post as a brand manager of a multinational company to help out with his wife. Together, they made the business bigger and more successful.
Recently, Nicole introduced their new homemade pasta recipe made of natural ingredients and created by Qiu Yan herself.
*Throughout the interview, we managed to try some of their high-quality homemade biscuits and pastries, and they were delicious!
To purchase their products, contact Nicole at:
In light of World Down Syndrome Day in March, let's show our love and support to countless others who are also born with this disability by sharing more stories in fostering understanding and patience towards society.
Together, let’s make a change for World Down Syndrome Day.