I’m excited to share March 21, 2015 is World Down Syndrome Day!! I truly hope you will join us as we raise awareness of what Down Syndrome is and what it means to have Down Syndrome. We want to show everyone how people with DS play a vital role in our communities. Let’s show the world that people with Down Syndrome are people first and deserve the same love, respect and opportunities as people without an extra chromosome.
The most common form of Down Syndrome is Trisomy 21 which occurs when a child gets an extra copy of chromosome 21 so instead of two copies they have three which makes 3.21 so special! The other forms of Down Syndrome include mosaic DS which means there is a presence of the extra chromosome in some cells. Translocation DS occurs when the extra 21st chromosome attaches itself to another chromosome other than the 21st. Down Syndrome was discovered and named after John Langdon Haydon Down, a British Physician. I wish his last name had been UP due to the alternative meanings of Down which include “in descending direction or order, at a lower value or rate.” In my opinion, these definitions carry a negative connotation over to having Down Syndrome that someone is less than which they are NOT and that is not why it is called Down Syndrome so we need to change that perception.
Evan has Down Syndrome but he is NOT Down Syndrome. It does not define who he is or who he will become because I won’t allow it. I will offer him the same opportunities that I offer to Cameron. I want people to love him not because he has Down Syndrome but despite of it. He is more alike than different. My goal in all of this is to show that Evan is just like people with DS. We all have challenges extra chromosome or not and shouldn’t be treated any differently. I want everyone to treat people with Down Syndrome with the dignity they reserve. Now, I realize I am probably preaching to the choir because most of you following my blog probably already do this so now it’s time to raise awareness and share the message with some one who may not know anyone with DS personally. It’s time to do something to make a difference. I didn’t know anyone personally with Down Syndrome before I had Evan but my perception of what it was to have Down Syndrome is much different than reality. My prayer in sharing my journey with you is to change any perceptions that you may have in hopes that you will be more aware of people in our communities like Evan with DS and that they will be treated with dignity and respect.
So, here’s how you can help. On March 21st, we will be participating in the 21 Random Acts of Kindness Campaign and participating is as EASY as 1,2,3 (www. worlddownsyndromeday.org)
It’s as easy as 1-2-3-4!
- On March 21st, wear a t-shirt that represents Down Syndrome. The nationally recognized colors for DS are blue & yellow.
- Choose an act of kindness, like taking cookies to a fire station, or checking in on an elderly neighbor
- Print a WDSD postcard (can be found using link below)
- Take pictures of the random act and post on your social media pages with the hashtag #WDSD15. We’ll have people on the receiving end of our kindness, and the whole world watching on Facebook and Twitter. I am also asking that you post a picture to Evan’s Radiant Warrior Spirit Page with the hashtag #RadiantWarriorSpirit #WDSD15
To learn more about World Down Syndrome Day please click the following link which also provides some ideas for random acts of kindness. Most don’t cost a thing and you never know the difference you can make in someone’s life by being kind.
Are you in? If so, please comment on this blog with ideas on what you will do! I’ll be posting more on what we have planned for the day. Thank you in advance for being Advocates for people with Down Syndrome!