Charlotte Woodward

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Charlotte Woodward
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Born (1989-12-18) December 18, 1989 (age 34)
Miami Florida
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materGeorge Mason University
OccupationHuman rights activist
  • Matthew Woodward (father)
  • Darcy Ello Woodward (mother)

Charlotte Campton Woodward (born December 18, 1989) is an American human rights activist. She was born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect requiring multiple open-heart surgeries during her early childhood. On January 29, 2012, at the age of 22, Woodward became one of the first people born with Down syndrome to receive a life-saving heart transplant. The successful transplant was performed at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia.

Early life and education

Charlotte Woodward was born in Miami, Florida on December 18, 1989, the daughter of Darcy Ello Woodward and Matthew Woodward. Woodward is currently a student at George Mason University, pursuing a degree in sociology.

Anti-discrimination advocacy

Woodward is the Community Outreach Associate at the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in Washington, D.C., where she supports public awareness and community outreach through public speaking and social media. One of Woodward's NDSS anti-discrimination initiatives on TikTok received over 3 million views,[1] raising awareness about people with disabilities and leading to interviews with various news outlets, including Good Morning America[2] and Today.[3] On February 9, 2020, Woodward testified to the State of Virginia's Senate Commerce and Labor Committee in support of a bill from Sen. Todd Pillion, R-Washington, to prohibit organ transplant lists from placing people with disabilities lower and to prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people on the basis of their disability.[4][5][3] The committee voted 15-0 to send the bill to the Senate floor for a vote, and the House companion bill from Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Washington, passed the House 99-0.[4] After the bill passed in Virginia,[5] Woodward told Today, "I helped get that passed in Virginia and, of course, we’re trying to get that passed in all 50 states."[3] On December 16, 2020, US Representatives Jaime Herrara Beutler and Katie Porter introduced similar legislation to the United States Congress, titled the Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act. The bill is intended to prohibit using an individual's physical or mental disability as the sole basis of determining their eligibility for an organ transplant.[6]

Personal Life

Woodward currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her mother and stepfather, Kevin Cannon.


  1. Torres, Krista (August 14, 2020). "This Woman With Down Syndrome Went Viral For Explaining Things About Her Life That Don't Make Sense". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  2. Bernstein, Faith (October 15, 2020). "Woman with Down syndrome shares discriminations she fights against in popular TikTok". Good Morning America. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Holohan, Meghan (September 1, 2020). "Woman details inequities of living with Down syndrome in popular TikTok video". Today. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Friedenberger, Amy (February 10, 2020). "Organ transplant discrimination ban to Senate floor; pro-union bills die". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Balch, Bridget (February 21, 2020). "Bills to ban discrimination against people with disabilities for organ donation pass legislature". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  6. "Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Katie Porter Introduce Organ Transplant Legislation". (Press release).

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