This post, by community member, Beth, originally ran this past March for Trisomy Awareness and World Down Syndrome Day. Given that it’s National Down Syndrome Awareness Month we decided to run it again.
What Trisomy Awareness Month means is each Trisomy gets its own day to raise awareness. For example, my daughter Lauren has Down syndrome. She has 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, so our day to celebrate and raise awareness is March 21 (3-21). My friend Marta has a 9 year old son who has Trisomy 18. Their day is 3-18.
According to Wikipedia, trisomy is where there are 3 copies of a certain chromosome instead of the usual 2. There are several different types of trisomy. The most common type is Down syndrome (Trisomy 21). The other five types are rarer. Kayden, Marta’s son has Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18). There are trisomies that occur on the 8th, 9th, 13th, and 22nd chromosomes also.
Lauren was born in 2007, during a blizzard. She was a week early due to my blood pressure, and I needed an emergency c-section. She was 6lbs. and so tiny. She got jaundice, wouldn’t drink water (she still doesn’t!) I was told she would never breastfeed because she “is Downs”.
I started really advocating for her when she was 6 months old. We started early intervention; I started planning our first Buddy Walk for our community. I tried to find other moms online, since the moms around our community really wanted nothing to do with us.
I learned so much about Down syndrome such as the proper terminology. Lauren has Down syndrome. She is not Downs. Also, it is Down syndrome, not Downs, Down’s. Big D, little s. It was named for the doctor who first discovered the features of Down syndrome. I really despise when Lauren is called a Downs kid, or a downie. I always try to explain that by saying you wouldn’t call a woman with breast cancer ‘the cancer lady’. That would be rude.
My name is Beth and I blog at Our Typical Life. I talk about everything from Down syndrome to taking pictures. Lauren is 3 and has Down syndrome. Avery is one and the biggest copy-cat ever. I’ve been married for nearly four years and we live in Minnesota.