Today marks the ninth anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. Why March 21? It's a little play on numbers, because people with Down syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two copies. The purpose of this important day, quite simply, is to bring awareness. Down Syndrome International hopes every year March 21 will be a day to educate people on what Down syndrome is; what it means to have Down syndrome; and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities. And it seems to be working; we, as a society, have a much better knowledge of what Down syndrome is now than we did years ago. And thanks to research, the life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome is 60, as opposed to 25, as it was forty years ago. Pretty amazing.
In support of WDSD, an Italian Down syndrome association released an incredibly moving video called "Dear Future Mom" to educate expecting parents on what life with a child with Down syndrome would be like. After watching the video, many moms began talking about life with a child with Down syndrome. And their stories could not be more beautiful or uplifting. Here's what some of them have to say:
Having my own child with Down's is nothing like the stereotypes I grew up with and taught by society. And thank goodness!! My daughter is amazing, and I wouldn't change her or choose not to have her for the world! Her life is and will be happy, full, and amazing. Isn't that what all mothers want for their kids? My daughter is the biggest joy and heart of our family! I'm so lucky she is ours!
My understanding of Down syndrome has increased abundantly in the last 8 years, since the birth of my youngest son who has DS. He is a true joy in my life. I would not change him for the world. He is the happiest, sweetest, most joyful little boy. He is helpful, kind, caring, funny, and just full of life. He brings a smile to my face every single day and I consider that, and him, to be a true blessing.
I just love my son so much and he will have a bright happy future, and I want all the world to know that as well! God bless these amazing children out there!!!
Love these stories that help kill some of the stereotypes that currently exist for Down Syndrome. Your child will have a good life, regardless of whether or not they have Down's.
Share your Down syndrome story.
Image via Andria Patino/Corbis