Saturday, March 21, 2009

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Professor Jerome Lejeune's discovery of the extra copy of chromosome 21 which causes Down Syndrome. Now known as trisomy-21 because of the third copy of the 21st chromosome, Down Syndrome was first described by the English doctor, John Langdon Down, in 1866 but until Professor Lejeune's publication in 1959, the ultimate cause of Down Syndrome was unknown. Hence - the 3rd month (March) and 21st day, T21.
This is a copy of Sophie's karyotype (click to enlarge) that shows the 3 copies of chromosome 21.

In honor of my gorgeous girl, we celebrate this day. I'll refer new comers to my first blog post, which is Sophie's birth story (in the back of a moving vehicle).

Here's her first professional photo. Her daddy holds her, just like the cover of the amazing book Gifts, Mother's Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives. We like to think of it as picture of God giving us a great and wonderful gift of our own.

DOWN SYNDROME CREED (author unknown)

My face may be different,
but my feelings the same.
I laugh and cry
and I take pride in my gains.
I was sent here among you
to teach you to love
as God in the heavens
looks down from above.
To Him I am no different,
His love knows no bounds;
it's those here among you.
in cities and towns
that judge me by standards
that man has imparted,
but this family I've chosen
will help me get started.
For I'm one of the children,
so special and few,
that came here to learn
the same lessons as you.
That love is acceptance,
it comes from the heart;
we all have the same purpose,
though not from the start.
The Lord gave me life
to live and embrace,
and I'll do it as you do,
but at my own pace.


Mommy to those Special Ks said...

:) You have an award waiting for you on my blog!

Karyn said...

Beautiful photo! Love it! Also, thanks for all the support you have given me. I really appreciate getting to know you through downsyn and here.

Karyn said...

Me again, hey I have an award for you too on my blog if you are interested - it is catchy :>)

gillian said...

I love the picture!