MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Our mailboxes and newspapers are stuffed these days with ads from stores showcasing what’s on sale.
This week a Target ad features a toddler from Stillwater.
Her name is Izzy.
She’s 2-years old and pictured playing with an activity cube.
Izzy also has Down syndrome.
WCCO’s Angela Davis visited her at her home and talked with her mother Wednesday.
She’s photogenic and she has quite a personality.
She was selected to appear in that ad after Target reached out to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network asking for pictures of kids who’d be willing to model.
Izzy’s photo shoot took place in September, but the ad just appeared this past Sunday.
Most days Izzy Bradley is at home hanging out with her mom.
Heather Bradley described her daughter.
“She is completely fun. She has lots of energy. She’s sweet. She loves her big sisters. Wants to be just like them,” she said.
She also likes taking pictures and playing.
So posing with a toy with a professional photographer was a piece of cake.
“She did really well. She sat still while they did her hair and makeup. She pretty much cooperated the whole time,” Heather said.
Izzy’s mother is the head of the local chapter of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network, a group that offers advice and support to families.
“I really appreciate Target’s policy of including them in their ads. I think it really normalizes Down syndrome and helps people to see we’re really just like any other family,” she said.
The feedback has been positive and has come from around the world.
“I’m really surprised at how much excitement has come from it. I’ve had people share it so many times. On Facebook, one site it’s got up to half a million likes,” Heather said.
She says she’s grateful for the opportunity and optimistic about the impact.
“I really just hope that if a new mom, or an expectant mom, were to see a little girl in an ad that they would just have that sense of hope for their child, and that they would know really there’s a great future for them,” she said.
Izzy’s mother told me the 2-year-old has not had a lot of health problems, but she does go to therapy on a regular basis.
The family got a check in the mail for Izzy’s work on that photo shoot.
They opened up a bank account in her name with it.