We are walking for Down syndrome Awareness on October 6, 2012 at the Detroit Zoo. Marty’s parents have gathered almost 90 people for the Marty’s Monkeys team. What an incredible showing of love! Participants include family, friends, church family, co-workers, etc.
I wish that each year they would pick one aspect of the Down syndrome life to focus on. Just so people are aware that Down Syndrome is not a cute condition nor it is not a happy condition–both adjectives I have heard describe the child who has the condition. Down Syndrome is nothing to be ashamed of nor is it something to be glossed over. It is what it is and that can be different for each person.
Before Marty was born I had never seen a Down syndrome baby nor a Down syndrome toddler! There are more than 50 features of Down syndrome but not every person with Down syndrome has all the same features or health problems. For most of my life I believed that the most significant aspect of disability for Down syndrome was cognitive ability but most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate cognitive disability. I have stated previously that I feel hypotonia or low muscle tone has been Marty’s greatest struggle. What gets him through the struggle? His family’s love.
I think for me this year if I was to choose one thing for people to be aware about Down syndrome is that those with Down syndrome need to be loved.