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Model With Down Syndrome to Walk in NY Fashion Week

Model Madeline Stuart is not letting Down syndrome get in the way of her dreams—she is yet again breaking the mold by walking the runway this fall during New York Fashion Week.

She will be hitting the catwalk for FTL MODA in partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation in order to feature models with disabilities on the runway. The 18-year-old from Brisbane, Australia, has more than 400,000 Facebook fans and more than 70,000 Instagram followers. In addition to nabbing a campaign with new accessories brand everMaya, Stuart has walked for other designers such as EST by Thelna.

When Stuart, who has battled obesity as a child, expressed her interest in becoming a model, her mother hired a personal trainer. With her tenacity and hard work, Stuart has gained international attention and is aiming to succeed in an industry where anything other than "the norm" is not normally considered beautiful.

Related: Girl With Down Syndrome Wants to Be a Model

"I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated," her mother told Today. "People with Down syndrome can do anything. They just do it at their own pace."

Stuart, who challenges many people's ideas of modeling, is an inspiration to girls everywhere who feel that they can't even be considered to be models because of their differences. Making an impact in the fashion industry and beyond, Stuart reminds us to keep an open mind and know that people who have mental and physical handicaps can achieve the same things as those who don't—and even more!

Photo credit: @madelinesmodelling_

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