Heath White had never known anything but winning. A successful student-athlete hailing from East Texas, he went on to pursue law school, pilot training in the United States Air Force, and even a position with the FBI. (Oh, and he's a marathoner in his spare time, too). Heath eventually married his middle school crush, Jennifer, and several years later the couple gave birth to their first daughter, Pepper. The White family couldn't have appeared any more perfect.
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However, when Jennifer began pregnant again a year later, the Whites received unexpected news: prenatal tests showed their unborn baby girl had Down syndrome. Heath, admittedly "scared and selfish," wanted his wife to abort the child. He was concerned about what people would think. After all, he had "winning genes" and his reputation to protect. Yet while Jennifer was terrified that her husband would leave her, she refused to consider the option and eventually gave birth to Paisley.

For a while after Paisley's birth, Heath felt alienated from his wife, new daughter, and even his passion for running. It wasn't until he made his baby girl laugh for the first time that everything changed; he finally felt deeply stirring unconditional love for his child. And so he began running again, pushing Paisley in her stroller while completing race after race. Not only was he able to bond with his daughter, but this shared activity enabled Heath to show the world how proud he was to be her father. Now a strong advocate for the very Down syndrome he feared facing, Heath is a humbled, changed man. 

Here at SF Globe, we commend Heath's willingness to speak up about his shortcomings prior to Paisley's birth. He perfectly demonstrates the power of parental love: everything he believed to be true about himself melted away as soon as he heard his daughter's laughter. Heath also serves as an example of how liberating it is to disregard other people's opinions and be true to oneself. We think the Whites' story is an important one to tell, proving how beautiful every life is and how "perfection" comes in many shapes and sizes. What a privilege to hear it in their own words.

What did you think of their journey? Has your family endured a similarly life-altering experience? Sound off in the comments below and make sure to share if you found this as gripping as we did.