I became a special needs mom on June 24, 2010. It was the day after my second daughter Molly. With no family history and no warning signs, our little Molly was diagnosed with Down syndrome. As I’m sure many of you can relate, hearing a diagnosis is scary, overwhelming and filled with the fear of the unknown. With that said, we couldn’t be more proud of our Molly. She is a fantastic little girl with a huge personality….and she just happens to have an extra chromosome!
March is a meaningful month for those of us in the Down syndrome community. March 21st has been designated by the United Nations as “World Down Syndrome Day”. Meant as a day to spread awareness and celebrate those in our community, check out these facts about Down syndrome -
- March 21st (3/21) was chosen to symbolize the third copy of chromosome 21 in Trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome.
- There are three types of Down syndrome. 95% of people with Down syndrome have Trisomy 21, a full additional copy of chromosome 21, 5% of people with Down syndrome have translocation or mosaicism, and have partial additional copies in all or some cells.
- Improvement in care over the last 15 years has led to a 20-point increase in IQ for people with Down syndrome.
- More than 400,000 people in the US and an estimated 3 million worldwide have Down syndrome.
- Despite being the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder (1 in 733 births), Down syndrome is the least funded genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health, receiving only 0.0006 of a $31 billion budget in 2009.
- Over 285,000 people participate in over 250 Buddy Walks® across 50 states each year. That’s a lot of celebrating people with Down syndrome!
- This is the first year that World Down Syndrome Day is officially recognized by the United Nations! Join the global celebration and let everyone know that people with Down syndrome should be valued, accepted and included!
I hope this is just the beginning of celebrating World Down Syndrome Day….although, in our family, we celebrate our little Molly everyday!
To learn more information about Down syndrome or World Down Syndrome Day, visit the National Down Syndrome Society at www.ndss.org
Carrie McLaren writes at www.CarrieWithChildren.com, follow along with her adventures on Twitter at @CarrieWChildren.
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