Friday, March 21, 2014

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is March 21st and we are using that day, 3/21, to educate people about Down syndrome.  Trisomy 21 is the technical name for most cases of Down syndrome because there are 3 copies of the 21st chromosome instead of two.  That anomaly is what we refer to as Down syndrome. 

While Down syndrome can be accompanied by many challenges, both medically and intellectually, life for a person with Down syndrome can be quite positive.  People are sometimes surprised to find that persons with Down syndrome have many of the same goals and desires as anyone else.  While the limitations that come with this particular genetic makeup does make it somewhat harder, with help, support, and the right resources many of those obstacles can be over come.

Gesserine loves life.  She is a great reader and has a strong desire to learn about so many things.  She is fascinated by the weather and wants to be a meteorologist some day.  She is thrilled to learn about new things and will often be found reading non-fiction books more than fiction.  She isn't a total book worm though as she also loves to have fun.  You can find her doing cartwheels at gymnastics, swimming in the summer, horseback riding, or heading to camp.  She loves music, dancing, Lego's, stick-ball and riding her new trike.  These are just a few of her favorite things. 

When she grows up she wants to drive, go to college, and get a job.  She wants to live on her own, do her own shopping, and cook her own meals.  My entire goal in educating her is to make her as independent as possible.  It is probable that she will need assistance to do at least some of these things, but even so, she will still have an enjoyable and fulfilling life. 

What the world needs to know and remember is that every life is precious.  Every life is valuable and just because one life doesn't look like another it doesn't make it any more or less good.  Perfection in our world does not exist.  It will not exist.  So lets stop pretending that it does and instead embrace our differences and respect each person for the life God has blessed them with.  If we can do that then maybe, just maybe, our less than perfect world will at least be a little more tolerable.

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