Today is World Down Syndrome Day! It is a day recognized by the UN, countries and organizations around the world where we celebrate the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. It is March 21 every year. March, the third month, symbolizes the three copies of the 21st chromosome and the 21st day represents that 21st chromosome. This is scientifically what causes Down syndrome. A person or their parents do nothing to cause them to have Down syndrome. The creation of the triple copy of the 21st chromosome happens at conception. Individuals with Down syndrome are not defective, afflicted or suffering. They are people just like you and me and created perfectly the way they are supposed to be. It’s who they are!
So today we celebrate their lives and the inclusion and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome. I am especially excited to share with you a beautiful video from the International Down Syndrome Coalition, “Who I Am.” The video has wonderful music and amazing photographs and artistry. And I love all of those components but the words are what make the video powerful. Just a few of the words….
“I am who I am, that’s who I’m who I’m going to be.
You don’t like what you see, well that’s good enough for me.
I am who I am, what you get is what you see.
I’m no mystery.
I’m who I am.”
That’s who the almost 400,000 individuals with Down syndrome say and that’s who they are!
So what are you doing to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day? I have a some suggestions:
- Invite a few friends over and watch “Just Like You – Down Syndrome.” It is a must see and especially if you have children or teens. It happens to feature one Rachel Mast along with five other teens! Who is Rachel? She would say, “I am Rachel Mast. I love my friends. I have great parents. I sing in choir. I love to act and sing and dance. I want to be a teacher, a mom and a wife and I want to live in a pink house. I love my life.” That’s Who I Am!
- Donate to the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation on March 21 and they will match your donation three for one. So $100 becomes $400, $500 becomes $2,000 and so on. .DSRTF is doing important work that will make a difference for individuals with Down syndrome over the long haul. Research is expensive!
- If you are in the Memphis area, come out to the IDSC Wrap up to the World Down Syndrome Day “Who I Am” event at Christian Brothers University on Saturday, March 23, 4 – 7 p.m. Complete information may be found on the link. The IDSC video “Who I Am” and the music of Sarah Conant, “Just Like You” with a live appearance by Rachel Mast, and the artistry of Company d are on tap along with great food and tons of fun! It will be a great way to celebrate the lives on individuals with Down syndrome.
“Mom always tells me to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness. I like the way that sounds.”… Hilary Duff