Me too, baby girl... me too. I want to share her with the whole world. I want to tell people that regardless of what they may or may not know about Down Syndrome, that she is an amazing gift. I want to tell them that her life is valuable. I want to tell them that she is capable. I want to tell them that she makes me proud every day. I want them to know that I have hopes and dreams for her and that I believe whole-heartedly in her potential. Most of all, I want to tell people that Down Syndrome is not who she is. She does not suffer from Down Syndrome. She is not defined by Down Syndrome. She's a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a grand daughter. She is a sweet one year old girl. She is an individual. She has a blossoming personality that is all her own, and just like anyone else, she deserves to be loved. She deserves to be respected as a member of our society. She deserves to be recognized by her teachers as a student with potential.
Today, October 1st, kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness month, and I'm participating in 31 for 21. It's a blog challenge. 31 days of October, 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. 31 for 21. Raising awareness.
Danielle was born in September last year. I was pulling my head out from the mud just in time for Down Syndrome awareness month, Buddy Walk, and 31 for 21. I was just learning about Down Syndrome, and lucky for me, the Internet was flooded with information about the genetic condition. It wasn't anything like the outdated pamphlet that was given to me at the NICU though. It was the best information available. Straight from the real experts, the parents, siblings and friends of people with Down Syndrome. I learned about people first language, debunked myths and stigmas that I had associated with Down Syndrome, and noted the real facts. I related to more personal posts about things like faith, and was privileged to experience what daily life was like in a family with a child of Down Syndrome. I believe this flood of information was pivotal for me in the embrace of my child's diagnosis. I was inspired to be an advocate for my daughter and others who are rocking their 47 chromosomes.
I don't know if I'll be able to post every day, but I'll give it a try! I would really like for my friends and family to follow my blog this month. It's important to me. Read the posts, please!
Thank you all for the overwhelming support in our fundraising effort. Please consider joining our Buddy Walk team, if you haven't already.
Have you seen Danielle's Down Syndrome Awareness video? Here's the link in case you missed it in an earlier post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX522GlbFZc&feature=youtu.be