Thursday, March 1, 2012

My mission for March

Welcome, oh welcome, March; hopefully you’re a better month than February.  It does seem that it’s already much better as we found out today that my brother in law’s CT scan came back clear and he doesn’t need another for one year. He is cancer free! We also were able to spend this evening with some of our very best friends and I’m reminded that no matter what difficulties we might endure, we have some pretty fabulous friends that are always there for us.  Last year at this time we were all rejoicing with them in the birth of Tera, and at the same time, leaning on them as we dealt with the news of her diagnosis and also the difficulty of her being in the hospital after I had been discharged.  This year we are able to celebrate the fact she’s healthy (finally), Mike’s healthy, and that she’s been joined by the daughters of two of our other best friends. 

 Well, regardless of how this month turns out, I’m attempting another straight month of blogging.  I feel I’ve done pretty well since my first attempt in October and then again in December and to be honest, it’s mostly because of all the positive feedback I’ve received.  I don’t think I ever envisioned so many people really awaiting my next post and it makes it so much easier to do.  But this month there is another purpose.  On March 21st, we will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.  Why, do you ask is it on March 21st? Well, hopefully by now my witty way of imparting information has reached you and you know that Down Syndrome is caused by a third copy of the 21st chromosome; hence the name Trisomy 21 and also the reason that 3/21 (March 21st) is World Down Syndrome Day.  This is the first year that this is being recognized by the United Nations and the point is to help spread awareness about DS.  To be honest, last year when it came around, I had no idea that it even existed.  One of my former students who also has ties to DS, told me about it and I loved the idea (I think it’s my inner math geek with numbers).  This year it’s an actual campaign and the NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society) asked anybody who blogs, to share the button on their blog (it’s just to the right of this post) and to also try and help spread awareness through their blog, so here I am.   

I’m going to try sharing some facts about Down Syndrome, some stories of what’s it like to deal with DS in a household, and what it’s meant to us so far.  At this point last year, we had just barely begun our journey.  I was reading lots of information, some of it very scary when you’re just starting out, and trying to make myself more informed.  This year, with a whole twelve months of experience under our belts, I’ll try and share some of that with all of you.  Along with that, I would love for anybody who has any questions about DS or our experiences or feelings about it, to ask.  You can either post a comment here, on Facebook, or email me and I’d be happy to share what I can with you.  Tom and I are very open about everything so please don’t feel bad about asking, the whole point of this is awareness and as my students always claim, there are no stupid questions (I tell them there are, but not about this).  I’d love to share the questions and answers here also, but I’ll keep anyone’s name off of it.  So please ask!

And now, for fact number 1:  Down Syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition.  

So while Tera beat the odds of being born “typical”, she apparently lucked into the most common form of chromosomal conditions.  Not sure how I feel about either one of those things, I think it would depend on the day you ask me. 

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