October is soon coming to a close and I have yet to post something to contribute to Down Syndrome Awareness month. I have been thinking about what I might say... so I started looking through the many articles I have collected over the years that had anything to do with down syndrome. Some make me so angry and others put a smile on my face.
In March 1995 there was an article in our local newspaper about the advancements in dectecting down syndrome in the unborn fetus. I read the article which began like this...
"A Utah doctor has pioneered a technique for safely determining whether an unborn child carries the genetic burden of Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a frequently severe form of mental retardation. Often accompanied by physical debilities, it is often linked to the age of the mother. The older the woman, the more likely she is to have a Down syndrome child.Because Down syndrome is one of the great tragedies that can strike a family, many pregnant women want to know whether their unborn children have the disorder. But until now some - even high-risk women in their 40s - were reluctant to use the only technique that could give them answers."
here is the link for the rest of the article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/407461/UTAHNaposS-TECHNIQUE-DETECTS-DOWN-SYNDROME-NONINVASIVELY.html
I have highlighted the part that got my blood boiling. I seriously called the Deseret News and asked If I could please speak to Joseph Bauman. I let the guy have it! I told him in no way was my daughter a tragedy! That she was the best thing that had ever happened to me and my entire family. He continued to disagree with me. After arguing with him for about10 minutes I decided he was not worth my time. Unfortunately, his perception of down syndrome is shared with many as our little angels are being aborted every day. Sad.
On a more upliftiing note... I am sure you have all read and heard about Gene Stallings, former Alabama football coach, who had a son with down syndrome. He is a great guy and has many uplifting stories. Here is a link to an article in People Magazine from 1998 http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20124379,00.html
Since then his son Johnny passed away. Gene has since shared many more stories of how Johnny has blessed his life. He has done radio interviews that are worth listening to.
23 years ago my beautiful baby girl showed up with a little something extra...a simple little chromosome. Kristen has taken us on a journey, one that wasn't planned or even expected. There has been obsticles and trials each of which Kristen has met with bravery and dignity. We know that Kristen was placed in our home and in our hearts for a very special purpose. Our lives have been enriched by all the special gifts Kristen has brought with her. Kristen is brave and she is beautiful. We are forever changed for having her in our family. Her presence has filled our home with much happiness.
The picture is Kristen at 2 1/2 years just a few months before her first leukemia diagnosis. It was a sad day when that beautiful blonde hair began to fall out.