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Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day


POV: DNA employee and mother of a child with Down syndrome

Please join my family along with other families around the globe on March 21 to embrace diversity, inclusion, and the unique contributions of every individual born with Down syndrome. 

  • Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome, which affects the development of the body and brain and leads to intellectual disabilities, distinctive facial features, and various health issues. 
  • The significance behind the date, March 21, signifies the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes this syndrome. 

our story

Meet MIKEY! The boy who stole my heart and forever changed my mind.  

It was Mother’s Day, May 14, 2006, the most exciting moment of my life! My water broke early that morning, and I quickly realized it was GO TIME! I was about to give birth to the healthy baby boy I had been anticipating for nine months. It was finally time to hold him in my arms, hug him and kiss his tiny face! 

We arrived at the hospital and began to prep for a C-section. Everything by that point was magical and exciting. The surgery went great, and I was on my way to recovery. 

Shortly afterward, while in recovery, I was informed that my beautiful baby boy had Down syndrome. Everything changed in that moment as time stood still. I tried to process the unexpected news that my baby was going to be developmentally disabled, with other potentially fatal health concerns, according to the doctor. My mind immediately went to a very dark place of pure devastation, fear and hopelessness. I had very little confidence in my ability to handle such scary news about my baby. However, what they did not tell me was that Down syndrome, despite its challenges, also brings unique strengths and blessings.  

What I later learned about parenting someone with Down syndrome

  • Unconditional Love: Individuals with Down syndrome often exhibit remarkable empathy, warmth and affection, fostering strong connections with family and friends. 
  • Joyful Disposition: Many people with Down syndrome have infectious positivity and an innate ability to find joy in simple moments, enriching the lives of those around them. 
  • Resilience: Despite facing obstacles, individuals with Down syndrome demonstrate resilience and determination, inspiring others with their perseverance. 
  • Inclusivity: The presence of individuals with Down syndrome promotes inclusivity and diversity, fostering a more compassionate and accepting society. 
  • Unique Abilities: People with Down syndrome often possess unique talents and skills, contributing to various fields such as art, music, sports and advocacy. 

Fast forward to 17 years later, I am beyond grateful I was chosen to be his mommy! I was chosen to fight for him, to provide unwavering support, advocacy and care for him. Mikey is my reason, my purpose.  

I will forever embrace his unique strengths and advocate for his human rights as we navigate the complexities of his disability together.  

One final detail: according to both the publication American Family Physician, and the nonprofit Down Syndrome International, adults with Down syndrome are competent to make medical decisions for themselves. 

In the spirit of unconditional love, joy, resilience, inclusion and uniqueness, we invite everyone, including those with Down syndrome, to consider registering as organ and tissue donors to offer the gift of life. Have this conversation with family and friends, and visit There are no age limits or health requirements to register to save and heal lives. 

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