Swampscott alumni reconnect over daughter’s diagnosis

It seems like everybody knew and loved Jonathan Derr when he was a student at Swampscott High School, and Paul Buonopane was no exception. He would see Derr at football team dinners and he had friends who played on the golf team with him. Buonopane — and many others — couldn’t help but be impressed with the fact that Derr did not let Down syndrome slow him down even a little bit.

“Somewhere in the back of my mind I always respected and appreciated Jonathan,” said Buonopane, who didn’t expect to again cross paths with Derr in such a meaningful way.

That changed when Buonopane and his wife, Stefani (Danahy), received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome for their daughter, Felicity. As he processed the news and dealt with the accompanying range of emotions, Bu…

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