I created this blog when my sweet little girl, Kristen, was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. After fighting for almost 3 years Kristen was called home to that same God who gave her life. One of my favorite quotes comes from Neal A. Maxwell- "Those who "plow in hope" not only understand the law of the harvest but they also understand what growing seasons are all about. True, those with genuine hope may see their proximate circumstances shaken like a kaleidoscope at times, yet with the "Eye of faith" they still see divine design." Kristen blessed lives and continues to do so. Her light continues to shine. As for me, I continue to "plow in hope" knowing well that Kristen is mine for eternity. Families can be together forever!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One for Down Syndrome Awareness

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."

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.


My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Beautifully written.

Lacey said...

Look how little and blond she is! I'm so glad you called that guy. How can he even argue with you when he doesn't know first hand. And last time I checked not to many DS kids had SEVERE mental retardation. They really shouldn't let these people do articles on stuff they don't know about.

Cammie Heflin said...

What an adorable picture!

Nicki Christensen Swilor said...

You are a great writer. I love your blog. And I love hearing about Kristen, since I haven't been around forever. All the pictures you post of her are so cute! You're an amazing mom.