It’s 3/21, a day to educate and celebrate! That’s because it’s World Down Syndrome Day! Why 3/21 you ask? That’s because Down syndrome occurs when someone receives 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, so March 21st, aka 3/21, makes it the perfect time to talk about Trisomy 21 (the fancy shmancy name for Ds).
Because my family feels blessed to have someone with Down syndrome in it, we thought the perfect way to mark this day would be to share our blessings with others by committing acts of kindness. Our goal was simple: educate and celebrate! I came up with a little flyer that explained the significance of the day and gave a few facts about Down syndrome. At the end I included the National Down Syndrome Society’s web address for those wanting more information. With each act of kindness a flyer would be left or handed out.
Then… Willow got sick.
We’re still able to celebrate, just not as largely as we had hoped. I’m stuck in the house at the moment. But, after a fun little trip to the ER last night (it sounds worse than it really was) I think Willow is turning a corner. Our hope is to go out to eat this evening as a family as Willow’s illness also interrupted plans for my son’s 10th birthday, yesterday.
What I’m saying is, we should hopefully have plenty of opportunity to spread kindness and awareness…
My two older kids each decided they’d like to buy gifts for people using some of their own money. My son specifically chose a person he knows who he says uses the “R” word on a regular basis. I know that he has talked to this person about that word but it sounds like he still uses it. My daughter chose someone for specific reasons as well. Maybe this will touch their hearts as Willow has touched ours…..
I was able to make a donation to a family raising money to pay for genetic testing for their young son. I actually met the mother in the waiting room of Willow’s new therapy provider a few weeks ago. We only talked for about 10 minutes. Her story touched my heart. Most people fear a diagnosis. This woman was seeking one out. Her son has been struggling with delays since birth but doctors aren’t sure why. Insurance won’t pay for genetic testing so they don’t have a name for what her son has. She never mentioned that they were raising funds but after our conversation I saw a flyer on the wall with her son’s picture on it. It was for an upcoming benefit. Today is Willow’s therapy day and I had planned to hand deliver a check and one of my handy dandy World Down Syndrome Day sheets to this mom, but obviously that ain’t happening. So,thankfully I found a way to donate online. I also was able to send an electronic message to this mom. She probably thinks I’m a nutcase, but that’s ok. I’m a nutcase that loves her daughter and wants to spread some love…
I’m hoping Willow will be able to handle an afternoon trip to the bank as I also have some yummy chocolate I had planned to part with. God forbid that stay in my possession…
As for my hubby, he grabbed a few of my fancy flyers before heading to work. He has a day full of meetings so he wasn’t sure how he’d use them. If they’re still in his hands when he comes home we’ll have to get creative come dinner time.
Nursing a sick kiddo isn’t how I had planned to spend World Down Syndrome Day, but then again, I never planned on having a child with Down syndrome. Life throws us crazy curve balls sometimes. We can either run from them or step up to the plate and swing. Let me tell you folks, we hit a home run with Willow.
I know there are many people out there that don’t understand why we would celebrate something like Down syndrome. They don’t see the blessing. Here’s praying and hoping we bless one of those people today….
Happy World Down Syndrome Day!