Meet Rafe…

Today I had the pleasure of learning about a young man named Rafe Day, who works as a lab technician and “parts dude”  for a research lab at the University of California, Irvine. (Nice feature profile of him here:

Rafe has also participated in the NASA-sponsored Student Aircraft Research Program. (Article here:

There’s even video of Rafe operating the Whole Air Sampler on NASA’s DC-8.

Technician Rafe Day – also known as the “Parts Dude” – prepares for an air sample analysis using liquid nitrogen in chemistry chair Donald Blake’s lab. (Michelle S. Kim / University Communications)

His friend Jane emailed me today to share a bit of his story. She described him as one of the most “insightful people” she’s ever met, and a “joy to have in our group”.

After reading about him, I’m sure you’ll agree, he has accomplished much in his life, and really touches the hearts of those he comes in contact with…oh, and I didn’t mention it, but Rafe has Down syndrome.

Rafe should be a reminder to every parent of a child with Down syndrome; keep your chin up and never stop believing…the future for individuals with Down syndrome holds unlimited opportunities, no matter what you may have heard.

Just reading about this young man made my day! Sounds like he has so much to offer and great people surrounding him. Quite inspiring!


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