Girl with Down Syndrome prepares for 4th black belt - WSMV News 4

Girl with Down Syndrome prepares for 4th black belt

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(Source: CNN) (Source: CNN)

(CNN/Meredith) –  It's any Friday morning at Alan Kessler's Karate Center in Massachusetts.  Warming up in the gym, this is longtime student Dana Margossian.

"I was 13-years-old."

But it's not just any ordinary day for dana, who's now 26.

Sparring with her dad, getting ready to test for her fourth-degree black belt in front of a panel of judges.

"When I’m in front of the board, it's a little nerve-wracking."

"She's a very determined young lady. When she decides what she wants to do and she makes up her mind, she does it,” said her father.

And consider this -- though dana has Down Syndrome, she does not want any modifications to the rigorous requirements.

"She's judged on whether or not she knows the curriculum. If she doesn't know the curriculum, she doesn't pass. There are no modifications. None. You know it or you don't."

"It's hard to remember all this, but I know I can do it. I can ace it."

Life has not been easy. Dana lost her mom suddenly a few years ago.

"I bet my mom is watching me from above."

Mom is watching her daughter's drive and determination.

No disability but using her ability to reach her goal.

"The problem isn't setting the bar too high and failing, it's setting it too low and achieving,” her father added.

Dana has also competed in the Special Olympics.

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