March 21, 2013

3:21

Today is March 21st, 3/21. For the past 7 years or so, people around the world have been celebrating 3/21 as World Down Syndrome Day. 3/21 was chosen to represent the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome which is the defining marker of Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21). Last year, it was officially recognized by the United Nations, and the awareness of this special day has started to spread in earnest. 

We aren't asking for money. We aren't asking you to walk or run or climb a mountain. We aren't asking you to sign a petition or to call your congressional representative. While those things are helpful in the bigger battle we face in making sure our children and members of the DS community are taken care of and given a voice, that's not what today is about.

World Down Syndrome Day is just a day to learn about and appreciate those among us who carry  this extra chromosome. Down syndrome is a complex genetic condition that carries with it a lot of misunderstanding and outdated stigmas. So, take a minute today to brush up on your facts. Check out the National Down Syndrome Society's efforts to help spread the love (and info) about Down syndrome. 

And while you are at it, maybe throw on a yellow or blue shirt today, write 3:21 on your hand, talk to your kids about what DS is, and spread a little love of your own.

We spread some love this morning at Luke's awesome preschool.

And we represented in our 3:21 gear (the yellow shirts are from Rhyme Clothing and the blue ones were homemade), even though Luke refused to sit for a picture. 3 year olds. Sheesh.
We also had friends, both near and far, help celebrate with us by sporting their yellow and blue. It always makes me feel amazing to see the love on social media as people change their profile pictures, or share a video, or a link helping raise awareness about Down Syndrome. At this point, my feed is full of it. But not so very long ago, I was completely unaware and misinformed about what Down Syndrome is and what it's like to live with it. So when others, who only know because of their connection to Sam, share information with their friends, it makes me so hopeful that Sam will one day live in a world where Down Syndrome is understood and accepted.


If you are looking for a way to share with older children or adults what Down Syndrome is, this video is an excellent tool. Because just like they say in the video, "When you understand, you can accept."



Happy World Down Syndrome Day, everyone!

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