Down syndrome and the 2013 Oscars

Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress, 2013 Oscars

Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress, 2013 Oscars

While Daniel Day-Lewis did not deliver the message I hoped for, I learned of another connection one of the winners had with Down syndrome, and I had no idea it was so close. 

The talk of Jennifer Lawrence’s win for Best Actress may have been about her trip as she walked up to accept her award, but her win brought her friend Andy Strunk leaping to his feet. Andy happens to have Down syndrome (and also happens to be the son of the pastor for one of Louisville’s largest churches, Christ Church United Methodist). J-Law, before she had that nickname, and Andy met in middle school. Throughout the years, they have maintained contact and their friendship. On Oscar night, Louisville’s newspaper was there to capture Andy’s celebration of his friend’s Oscar win, which you can watch at this link.

I also learned that my own daughter had a chance to meet Jennifer Lawrence. For several years, Down Syndrome of Louisville has held a Christmas Party at Bowman Field. Through the generosity of the Koch family (Jennifer’s father’s family), Santa flies in on a red bi-plane to give the kids presents. For many of our members, it is one of their favorite events. At one of the very first parties, Jennifer’s family also had pony rides and Jennifer volunteered that year. Little did we know that years ago when there were pony rides at a Christmas Party our daughter was meeting a future Oscar winner.

Update: the New York Daily News has a recent article that features Jennifer Lawrence and her friendship with Andy. From the article:

A “Winter’s Bone” poster is inscribed, “To Andy — Don’t forget about me!”
The pair last hung out Christmas Day. Jennifer invited him to her parent’s home for a holiday hug.
“She has a good spirit,” Andy Strunk told the Daily News. “I just like to hang out with her.”

Full article available here.


  1. […] wrote in a previous post about the friendship Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence has with all-around-good-guy Andy Strunk, who […]

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