The Story Behind These Photos Is As Heartbreaking As These Kids Are Beautiful

Turning pain into beauty.

Many parents are terrified when they learn their child has Down Syndrome. Photographer Julie Willson wants to change that, and she's fighting the stigma and fear parents face the best way she can: through pictures.

Willson is especially invested in Down Syndrome Awareness. Her sister Dina had the condition, and ever since she passed away from congestive heart failure four years ago Willson has been inspired to pay tribute to her sister and the countless other families affected by Down syndrome.

This year she channeled her pain into beauty through a gorgeous photoshoot celebrating kids with Down syndrome.

"The reason for the photo shoot is that I want to raise awareness to what the positives of Down Syndrome are," Willson told A Plus.

"Dina was born with Down Syndrome and was truly one of the happiest people I knew," Willson told A Plus. "She more then doubled her life expectancy and was the biggest blessing to our family."

Julie hopes the joy that resonates through these photos brings comfort to families with special needs children.

"I want people to realize that if they are told that they are pregnant with a child that has Down Syndrome, although it may be scary at first, I want them to know that that child will be their life's greatest blessing and that their child will bring more joy to their lives than they could have ever imagined."