• Meet the Real Princess in this Picture…Our Daughter Katie

    Posted on October 20, 2012 by in Featured Articles

    My Sweet Katie

    Exploiting Down Syndrome for “Likes”


    A little over a week ago, I began receiving strange emails that my daughter “Mallory” had her picture posted on facebook and the picture had gone viral. I thought it was a misunderstanding because I don’t have a daughter by that name. Eventually, I was sent a link to a post where I saw a picture of our daughter Katie in a bizarre and crazy technological phenomenon that rocked our simple little world.

    Katie’s picture had been stolen, her identity falsified and a story contrived all for the thrill, challenge and intent of creating a viral post. The reality that someone would exploit our daughter and her special needs for facebook “likes” was nonsensical and surreal.

    Millions of Individuals Rally Behind Our Daughter

    While we are disturbed and distressed that someone would take advantage of Katie in this way, we are simultaneously humbled and gratified for the monstrous outpouring of love, support and encouragement directed toward our daughter. Literally millions upon millions of individuals across the country and the world have been moved and united in solidarity to support her. You have been touched by her beautiful face and wished to reach out to her. You have seen beyond her disability to the spirit that lies beneath. There are no words to adequately express what we have felt to watch the world unite behind our Katie. Truly the goodness still present in an often-ugly world is staggering, and we are honored to witness it first hand. In that spirit, we felt the desire to reach out to you in return and let you meet the real princess in pink.

    Meet the Real Katie

    Katie is the youngest of five children and is loved and adored by her parents, her siblings and all who meet her. While she is shy, she will almost always introduce herself with a hug and a smile. Katie has been reading since she was 18 months old. She loves Carrie Underwood and can sing the words to every one of her songs. Each morning getting ready for school she tells us which Disney princess she looks like, unless, of course, she looks like Carrie Underwood that day. She has an uncanny ability to know when someone in our home is sad. She finds them in minutes and stays with them until they feel better. We are truly blessed to be Katie’s parents and to have her in our home.

    Help us Fight the Exploitation/Cyber Impersonation of Children

    In our effort to have Katie’s falsified picture removed from facebook, we have been met with silence at every turn. There is little protection from the law in regards to cyber impersonation. While we feel passionate about protecting free speech in our country, including on the internet, stealing someone’s identity is theft and falls outside of that definition. We have learned first hand how scary it can be for someone to impersonate a loved one online. We have also learned the frightening power of today’s information age.

    Please help us get the word out and tweet or “like” our facebook post and “share” it on your wall for others to see. While we may not be able to get Katie’s stolen picture removed, maybe we can prevent it from happening to someone else. Awareness is a vital part to fighting this contemptible practice.

    If you would like to explore what you can do to protect against the exploitation and impersonation of children online we have found a great website where you can find out what laws exist in your state and how to contact your representatives to express the need to pass legislation in your area. That website is sspblue.com/tag/e-impersonation/.

    Thank you.


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  • Sheevil2000

    I too seen the fb post and commented how beautiful she is. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I have a special needs child and I can’t imagine someone doing such a discusting thing to her. Shame on you cruel people! And to get “likes”?? Shame in you! :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004168176260 Debora Cintron

    I have a son with autism, and I am so outraged how someone could be so awful. Please except my apologies. I believe your daughter, Katie, will be saved from the horror of this world. Someone told me once, “I am honor to know your son, he has been chosen by God, to be one of the elite and elected. Katie is a part of the elite and elected chosen by God. In God’s blessings shall prevail.

  • Eileen

    First of all, I’m so sorry also that someone exploited your beautiful, precious daughter. Secondly, I have to say, that when I saw her photo, I didn’t even notice that she had Down Syndrome. What I did notice was her shining, big blue eyes and her sweet and gorgeous smile. Then I started to read the article and noticed that it said she had Down Syndrome. I was a bus driver for many years and transported Down Syndrome children and adults and other children with different disabilities and all I can say is they’re even more loving and caring and happy than people without disabilities.
    God bless you and your family and let Katie know that she is without a doubt a very special and beautiful child.

  • Mojicabrown

    My deepest apologies I didnt know but I commented before actually knowing…. God bless your family KATIE MUAHHHHHHH ALL HYGS AND KISSESSS TO U BABY GIRL.

  • Mojicabrown

    I also wanna say I rebuke satann in da name of Jesus….katie im ur friend and my children would love u if dey knew u…..oooooooh my daughter wants to say something ,she is four
    Hi my name is Tyrus and I love you katie.

  • http://rootsofhealthyliving.com Terri Johnson

    Thank you to everyone for your kind comments. We have truly felt the love and support of you all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevan.mericle Kevan Mericle

    I am so sorry this has happened to your family. Cyber theft of any kind is so invasive and they should be safeguards put in place. Please accept my apology for the intrusion. I did click like the photo and leave a comment because your daughter is truly beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003472566193 Oliviajo Crews

    I also saw this on facebook just a few minutes ago. I am so sorry what your family is going through because of this. But the real truth is, your daughter is truly a beautiful young lady. She is one of God’s children and he will protect her. I am so happy that you shared this true story with us. I will be praying for your family and please let your daughter know she is absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/norma.c.honaker Norma Crouse Honaker

    I am so trusting of FB posts. It is so wrong for people to steal identities and especially to Katie and her family. She is a beautiful young lady and I would love to meet her some day. May God richly bless you and your family.

  • margatefam

    I sent this story to my contact at Facebook. I hope they react quickly. I am so sorry that this happened to your beautiful family.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.mogilski Mark Mogilski

    Thanks to Rachel Wintemberg for setting me straight…I unliked the scam post. How reprehensible to use someone as sweet as your daughter for a money making scam. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this crap. All my best to you and your family…

  • http://www.facebook.com/arthur.mckenna.9 Arthur Mckenna

    you are a marvelous family with a beautiful daughter and im sorry you are going thru this if we all try we may get post taken down

  • http://www.facebook.com/wolf2882 Andrew Smith

    i am sorry that i am reading this now, and am extreamly pisst off at how aver did this to you. it is that stuppedity that is killing man cind and that we feed in to it. how aver stol her pic should be houng from a tree for all to see. i am sorr for my pashan of pp with any tiyp of sindrom, my sister in-law has a very bad problam an was told that she wouldent live past ten, she is now 17years old and has a spashol plase in my heart…. may the gods of my anshasters wochover her and blessher for all times….

  • http://www.facebook.com/judy.shockleysmith Judy Shockley-Smith

    How do use Hoax Slayer?

  • Mammaof4

    Just wanted inform you that your precious Katie’s photo is being sent around again. It is 1/6/12 at about 6:00 pm. You can reach me at whatsup202020@gmail.com. I’m sorry
    your sweet daughter has to go through this. I am Nicole.

  • Jade Sansing

    I had no clue! I’m very sorry that they did that. But what I said on the comment is still true. Let’s hope people will stop doing this just to get likes. God bless you all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheri.esperon Cheri Esperon

    I commented on one of those photos & then saw some nice person pasted your link in the comment, so I deleted my comment there– but would like to share it here: I have to pay a hairdresser for that hair color & get colored contacts for that eye color — she’s beautiful naturally & I’m jealous!!!

  • Darcie Pudwill

    I work as an aide in a special needs middle school classroom and also have a son with autism. I am so sorry!! The support wad genuine but the spirit behind the photo stealing is appalling. Hugs to you and your family!

  • http://www.facebook.com/momof5bratlings Stephanie Jones-Wink

    wow….just wow. i am ever amazed by the extent some people will go to just to get something “liked”…

    your daughter in very precious indeed……and i am so sorry she has to be exposed to the evil in the world in such an evasive way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.lenon.5 Patrick Lenon

    Thanks for taking the trouble to clear this up. Obviously Katie does not need Facebook users to tell her she’s gorgeous. ;)

  • tammy reed

    I’m sorry I liked the post and commented on it. It is a terrible thing to happen to such a beautiful child. I hope the person gets caught so it don’t happen to anymore innocent children.God bless you and your family.

  • Pingback: Stealing Identities and Stories for Likes

  • Moth de la Cruz

    What a lovely person you are, and what a wonderful soul you have for a daughter. I wish your entire family the very best. Thank you for writing this and keep up the good fight.

  • Lisa Wightman

    I’m sorry to say, this is back up on Facebook. I’ve tried unsuccessfully for 2 days to have it taken down, but I’ve had no response. I have also posted the real story in the comments section, but again without any results. I just thought you should be aware that it is doing the rounds again

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