Monday, March 21, 2011


Today is not only March 21 it is also World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

I like how the numbers of today's event coincide with the numbers used to identify and describe Trisomy21. I think it's kind of clever.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what Down syndrome is here is a brief breakdown. Trisomy21 is the most common form out of the three types (Four, if you consider the duplication of a portion to be its own separate type- I personally am not 100% for sure on how that's looked at.) and it is identified by having three of the twenty first chromosomes. A person who does not have Down syndrome only has only two. After T21 there's Translocation and then the least common type of Down syndrome is Mosaicism.

Below is a photo that I took of Vada's Karyotypes. Her's is a bit deceiving because to the untrained eye it looks as if she has only two of the twenty-first chromosome.

However, Miss Vada has Translocation Down syndrome. Approximately 3 to 4% of babies who are born having Down syndrome have this type. Translocation differs in the chromosomal structure when compared to T21. Typically, with Translocation, a piece of the twenty first chromosome breaks off and then attaches itself to another chromosome, often the fourteenth chromosome.

Vada's Translocation "layout" is a bit more unique in the sense that her extra piece did not attach to its more commonly known spot. Instead it flopped on over to the top of her second twenty first chromosome.  Do you see how there are two "lines? The first one has one "dot". The second line has two "dots". That second "dot", the one on the top, well, that's V's third-twenty-first. (The picture is a bit blurry, I took it with the camera on my cell phone and then I enlarged it, but you can still see what I am referring to.)

All of this, the stuff up above, it's only a diagnosis. It's not who our daughter is. It's just something that she has. She was made in God's image and he did a fantastic job, I feel sorry for those who cant see that. Everyday, I thank God for Vada as well as the rest of my family. I have heard from many that God gives these "special" children to "special" families. Each time that I hear this, I think to my self two things..., All children are special and then I wonder why he picks some of the most evil of families to give these "special" children to? It is a question I will have to wait for the answer to, one that I will try to remember when my time finally comes to meet our Lord. Until then, I will just thank him for giving Vada to us and not to a family who wouldn't love her.

Today, for National Down Syndrome Awareness Day, I want to share two videos with you, but first you should scroll to the bottom of the blog page and pause the music that I have automatically playing.

This beautifully crafted video was done by the International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life. I love their motto "Advocating in the womb and in the room!" This particular video was done to help promote today's efforts in spreading awareness about Down syndrome. I am proud to say that Miss Vada appears in it three times-thanks IDSC! You'll see her at 55 seconds, 1 minute and 33 seconds and then again at 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

Before Vada came into my world, I knew very little about Down syndrome. I have very little recognition of seeing anyone who had Down syndrome, including through pictures. Please, watch this video, open up your mind and change the way you see beauty. This video was created to make a difference, let it do just that.

This next video was done by a mother of a young girl who also happens to have Down syndrome. It too is a beautiful video. With this video you are given the opportunity to give your vote. While raising awareness is not a  popularity contest (and never should be), this mother undoubtedly deserves her video to be recognized. Please give her your vote.

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