Interviews
Power couple with Down syndrome defy all expectations
Chris and Sofia were both born with Down syndrome but that hasn't stopped them from shattering everyone's expectations of them.
Jaclyn Abergas
06.13.22

When babies are diagnosed with Down syndrome, their families and themselves believe they will need assistance their whole lives. They will have to depend on other people so they can go around and live their life.

This power couple from Puerto Rico is determined to prove their potential is limitless.

YouTube - CBS Mornings
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YouTube - CBS Mornings

Chris Gonzalez, 25, and Sofia Jirau, 24, were both born with Down syndrome but they have never let their condition limit their dreams and their potential.

Chris is a trained chef, barista, and retail entrepreneur, and he owns and operates a food truck. And he sells his own line of coffee beans, CHRISin Limites.

Plus in 2014, he became the first person with Down syndrome in Puerto Rico to get his own driver’s license.

Driving his own car is really helpful whenever he needs to drive from Rincon to the other side of the island in San Juan to visit his girlfriend, Sofia.

YouTube - CBS Mornings
Source:
YouTube - CBS Mornings

Sofia has her own accomplishments becoming the first woman with Down syndrome to be featured in Victoria’s Secret campaign for their “Love Cloud” collection.

And, in February 2020, Sofia was also one of the handfuls of models with Down syndrome who walked down the runway at the New York Fashion Week. Modeling since 2019, she also signed a modeling deal with the beauty brand, L’Oreal, and she’s also working on a fashion line with her mother.

She has her eyes set on conquering the European runways next.

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

She has her own retail store called “Alavett” and sells clothes, accessories, and home decor. And she’s also an advocate for the “Sin Limites (Without Limits)” campaign with Chris, spreading awareness about the Down syndrome community and what they can achieve.

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

Chris and Sofia’s parents are beyond blessed with their children.

“He’s persistent. He makes us want to be a better person,” Eugene Gonzalez, Chris’s father, shared. “A couple of times, he will fail. But he knows he has to try and try again. That’s what we’ve learned from him. That’s a big lesson in life.”

YouTube - CBS Mornings
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YouTube - CBS Mornings

Chris is just so happy that his parents are so proud of him.

And it’s not just Chris’ parents. Sofia’s mother is so ecstatic at how she’s been such a blessing and brings joy to everyone.

Not only is she a model and entrepreneur, but she’s also an Experience Ambassador for the Puerto Rican company, INprende, which helps professionals and entrepreneurs with their professional and business development.

YouTube - CBS Mornings
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YouTube - CBS Mornings

It’s because of her advocacy work that caught the eye of Raúl Martinez, the new creative director of Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria’s Secret has been accused of being “exclusionary, fat-phobic, transphobic, patriarchal and sexist” and have been working towards a radical rebranding, led by Martinez.

The “Love Cloud” collection was launched last February 14, 2022, featuring Sofia and other women from diverse backgrounds, shapes, and sizes.

YouTube - CBS Mornings
Source:
YouTube - CBS Mornings

Together, Chris and Sofia are showing the world that having Down syndrome will not stop them or anyone like them from going for their dreams.

YouTube - CBS Mornings
Source:
YouTube - CBS Mornings

Want to meet this power couple? Watch the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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