Did you know that people with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions, and that, at approximately 1 in 700 births, Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition, yet it is the least funded?
Did you know that with proper intervention, inclusion, and education, people with Down syndrome are becoming increasingly self-sufficient? They are artists, authors, musicians, models, actors, public speakers. They are getting married, going to college, holding jobs, and living independently.
Did you know that the life expectancy of someone with Down syndrome was only 25 years in the 1980s, and is now over 60 years?
Did you know that, even with all of these advancements, 60-90% of prenatal diagnoses result in abortions? A lot of these are due to lack of information, misinformation, and outdated information being presented to scared mothers early in their pregnancies.
Did you know that a person with Down syndrome is more like you than not? That they are not defined by their disorder, but are unique individuals? They have Down syndrome but it is not what they are.
Did you know that, should you be blessed with a child with Down syndrome, they will be the absolute light of your life and you will love them as you would love any other child?
There are so many things I was not aware of, a whole world I was blind to, when L was born, but I am learning quickly. There is a lot of information I wish I had known beforehand. I am now seeing the importance of educating people so that other families may experience less grief and fear when learning of their child's diagnosis.
And I want to say
I am completely and immeasurably grateful for my daughter. I love her with every tiny fiber of my being. She brings me so much joy and magic every day. I am so thankful that, through her, God is giving me new eyes and I am hopeful that she will do the same for many people throughout her life.
I encourage you to get to know someone with Down syndrome, give your time, donate, learn more.
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!