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 Down syndrome is a complex genetic condition that carries with it a lot of misunderstanding and outdated stigmas.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.
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.
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!