Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
Every March 21 is a global day of awareness about Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome.
Today is a very special day for millions of people around the world with Down syndrome, as well as their families and friends. Every year since 2007, March 21 has marked World Down Syndrome Day, which aims to spread awareness about Trisomy 21.
As you may have read on The Stream in the past, our youngest daughter Natalie was born with Down syndrome on February 4, 2020. Just over three years later, Natalie is happy, healthy and achieving amazing new milestones every single day. She is truly a gift from God, as is every single human being with Trisomy 21 and other special needs.
If you are interested in supporting non-profit organizations dedicated to spreading awareness and helping people with Down syndrome, please consider the National Down Syndrome Society, Gigi’s Playhouse, the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network, LuMind IDSC Foundation, Jack’s Basket and the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization. There are many other fantastic organizations in other countries as well.
Here in the United States, about 1 in every 700 babies are born with Trisomy 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Many more are never given a chance to live, which is heartbreaking and tragic.
Speaking as someone who spends each day witnessing the miracle of Natalie’s life, I can tell your firsthand that people with special needs are not burdens on their families or society as a whole. Instead, people like our daughter embody kindness, love and hope. We must celebrate, protect and pray for this precious and unique community.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day. We love you, Nat!
Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the recently released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise Men, Brothers Forever, 8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.