Trisomy 18 Stops Rick Santorum's Campaign in Its Tracks


rick santorumThe Florida primaries are underway, and one presidential hopeful -- Rick Santorum -- is sitting some crucial campaigning out. The Republican politician canceled Sunday morning campaign events, which included an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, as well as an appearance at a Miami church, in order to be with his 3 1/2 year-old daughter, Bella, who was admitted to a hospital back in Philadelphia. Last night, a spokesman for Santorum said, "Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this evening. Rick intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible."

Wow, pretty crappy news. And although it's gotta be difficult for any politician to ever pull away from campaigning, Santorum without question made the right choice. See, Bella has Trisomy 18, and, as Santorum himself told the Washington Post last year, even a cold can mean she's "this close to dying." 

Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is a genetic condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 18th chromosome. Many women have tests to see if their fetus has this extra chromosome between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy (a nuchal translucency screening). It's the second most common autosomal trisomy after Down Syndrome. Typically, those affected with Trisomy 18 are female, and as sad as it is, the majority of fetuses don't make it to birth. Those who do have a very low rate of survival due to heart abnormalities and other organ disorders. Needless to say, it's a disorder that most likely has parents on pins and needles every time something is "off" with their child. So, naturally, Santorum had to be there.

No matter what your political beliefs are, you have to feel for Santorum right now. Take away his platforms and his policies and he's just a dad with a sick little girl. And that's always heartbreaking. Hopefully, Bella will make a quick recovery and Rick will be back on the campaign trail in no time. 

Did you have a nuchal transluceny screening? Why or why not?


Image via CafeLindsay/Flickr

2012 election


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Littl... LittleFrogsMA

My only comment is that if a woman left the campaign trail to be with her ill child, the press would start questioning if she could do her duties and be a mom.


Remember:  Everyone questioned if Palin could be a mom and a VP but no one asked if Obama could be a father and President. 


The double standard appalls.

ashjo85 ashjo85

I did with my first baby. But my risk factors are so low, and there's no way we'd abort for any reason, that we decided to forgo the testing time.

tinyp... tinypossum

I did have nuchal screenings with both my kids. I want as much information as possible. While I don't agree with his politics, I admire that he has left the campaign trail to be with his child. I hope all will be as well as possible with their little girl.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Palin had an infant with special needs, a pregnant teen, and other kids. Obama had two tween girls. There's a world of difference there. I wouldn't question a female candidate with tween or teen kids but I would question a male candidate with a special needs child. Obviously any kid could have an accident or be taken I'll but if your kid is constantly dancing around on death's doorstep then should you really be looking for a job that will eat up virtually every hour of every day and take you all over the world?

sammy... sammyk1976

Just goes to show what a selfish prick he really is. 

NatAndCo NatAndCo

How does wanting to make sure his daughter is ok make him a selfish prick? If you're going to make an issue out of someone's "shortcomings", atleast pick legitimate ones.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

@ NatAndCo - Perhaps sammyk1976 was referring to the fact that he's running a campaign for President while he has a sick child at home? That's what baffles me about the whole thing. He has a child who is living on limited time, but chooses to persue a profession that would mean spending most of that time away from his daughter. I'd want to spend as much time with her as possible. I'm glad he's putting her first now that she's in the hospital, but it just sort of confuses me as to why he'd do it in the first place.

doubl... doubledsmommy

Since when did having a special needs child make someone confined to a regular 9 to 5 for the rest of their life? Shit, maybe he just shouldn't work at all, right? I mean it's not enough that his wife is a stay at home Mom, he should be around the child 24/7. Wow, some of the comments are just plain stupid. Perhaps he wants to be able to change the policies currently in place to better the world for his daughter and the rest of the U.S. What a selfish jerk he sounds like.... I wonder how much time Obama has spent away from his kids living under the same roof and all. You want to attack the policies of Santorum, go ahead. But to try to turn this into a selfish act is just plain desperate reaching.

NatAndCo NatAndCo

@GlowWorm - its possible but I don't see how that's selfish either. Are we supposed to fault everyone with a sick child for not sitting at home day in and day picture with them? Yes its a time consuming profession, but so is being a doctor, lawyer, teacher, social worker etc... Would they be considered selfish? Yes his child is sick, its a sad fact, but I do not think he should sit at home and wait for her to get worse.

OneAl... OneAllergicMama

To answer the original question, no I did not have the screening because we were having a baby regardless.  We did have an OB try to scare the pants off of us once with saying my child showed signs of Down's Syndrome and we needed to have this, this and this done.  It wasn't going to change the outcome.

And really?  Who has perfect children that would be ready for Mom or Dad to be President.  I hated that argument against Palin (not that I thought she was qualified in the least).  Is Santorum supposed to sit around and wait for his child to pass or not take jobs that might involve traveling?  Any one of our children could die at a moment's notice or be hurt - should we stay at home as well?

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