Beaufort teen with Down syndrome is transcribing her way through the Bible

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Beaufort teen with Down syndrome is transcribing her way through the Bible

By AMY COYNE BREDESON
abredeson@islandpacket.com
Published Saturday, December 1, 2012   |  537 Words  |  

Nineteen-year-old Caroline Campbell has Down syndrome, but she doesn't let it stop her from pursuing her interests.

The Beaufort resident loves writing and has several journals -- one devoted to recipes, another all about dancing, one for tennis and another filled with songs.

Campbell also loves the Bible and knows a lot of Scripture by heart.

So she decided to combine her two loves and has handwritten several books of the Bible over the past two years.

"In January, we started putting (her notes) all together and realized that she had written a bunch of half books," Campbell's father, Kenny, said.

Caroline began organizing the individual books. So far, she has copied the first three books of the Old Testament, as well as Romans and Hebrews in the New Testament. She has the Old Testament in one folder and the New Testament in another. She's also started about eight other books of the Bible.

"Occasionally I will just read what she's got and have the Bible next to me," Kenny said. "She takes her time. She doesn't miss a lick."

Now Caroline is working on Numbers, and she plans to copy Deuteronomy next. She works on the project for about an hour-and-a-half to two hours a day.

Sometimes Caroline's parents have to tell her to stop. Otherwise she would spend hours and hours doing nothing but writing.

The family has calculated it will take Caroline approximately seven more years to finish the entire Bible.

Kenny said he did some research online and found that very few people in modern times have handwritten the Bible. He hopes the National Down Syndrome Society will catalog her work in its archives.

Kenny said Caroline is a testament to what early intervention can do for a child, adding that 35 to 40 years ago children with the condition were institutionalized. Caroline is home-schooled and will graduate from high school in May.

Her mother, Jennifer, said Caroline has a clear understanding of Christianity. She said she had to in order to be baptized at their church, Community Bible Church. She was baptized in 2009.

Writing and the Bible are not Caroline's only interests, though. She participates in Special Olympics tennis, and she has taken dance lessons for the past 12 years. She takes classes in Russian ballet, tap, hip-hop and lyrical dance.

In fact, Caroline will dance in "The Nutcracker" with the Columbia City Ballet on Dec. 18, when the ballet company comes to the University of South Carolina Beaufort for its annual production. Caroline also dances at nursing homes.

Her family says she is quite a ham and loves being on stage. But despite that, she really enjoys her quiet time with the Bible, a pen and some paper.

"It's fun," she said with a smile, adding that she just wants to preach the word of God.

RELATED CONTENT

National Down Syndrome Society

Community Bible Church