With One Simple Gesture, This Man Helped His Friend With Down Syndrome Overcome Her Stage Fright

"You alright, Suze?"

Speaking in front of a crowd can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if around 200 people are there. And sometimes, even when you think everything is under control, your nerves can get the best of you, and you might need a little encouragement.

Suzy Cloutier, a 28-year-old who has Down syndrome, was delivering a speech for STRIVE, a nonprofit program she's been a member of for years that helps tweens, teens and young adults with developmental disabilities in South Portland, Maine. In the middle of her speech, however, she suddenly came down with a major case of stage fright.

Thankfully her friend Chandler Hawks, 25, was nearby to give her the confidence she needed. 


Watch the touching moment Suzy overcomes her stage fright with the help of a friend:

It turns out, a hug from Chandler was all she needed.

"I got emotional because she was my kid, but I was surprised that everyone else got emotional by it," Suzy's mother Peggy told ABC News, referring to the special moment.

After a round of confidence-boosting applause and a deep breath, Suzy took it from the top, delivering a perfect speech on why STRIVE is important to her. 

"I can learn how to take care of horses, learn how to write, go to drama class and swimming," Suzy said.

"And most of all, I can be with my friends."

Peggy told ABC News that Suzy has watched her speech "about 100 times" and is now able to look back at it and laugh at her stage fright.

If only we could all have a great friend like Chandler.

(H/T: ABC News)


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