Subway worker with Down syndrome brings joy to customers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –Smith Weber Sandager is a sandwich artist who has brought happiness to people in northeast Albuquerque for 14 years, despite challenges.

"He just fit right in. He jokes around. He dances with us," said Joe Bock, general manager at Subway on Wyoming.

"People love to come here just to see Smith, because he’s always in a good mood, and he’s always happy to do whatever you ask," said Dave Jarvis, a customer and friend.

Sandager’s mom says all he’s ever wanted to do is work at a Subway.

Last year, the restaurant where he worked closed, and he needed someone to give him a second chance. Earlier this year, Bock from Subway did.

"Smith, in particular, just lights people up. When people are around him, they just smile. You can’t help it," said Bock.

At the age of 39, he has to walk to the bus stop to work a two-hour shift.

"Just to be social, I like it," said Sandager.

His mom, Susie, said she wants him to have the full experience that life can bring and that any family that finds out their child has Down syndrome should be excited about it.

"It’s sad because they don’t know what they’re missing, and I would have been that person. I didn’t know anything about it, but, in reflection, I’m so glad I have him,” said Susie.

And so are all the people whose day he brightens.