Monday, October 1, 2012

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Today marks the beginning of an incredibly busy month.  I think it’s my favorite month out of the year because the busyness marks the beginning of a string of holidays that bring me great joy.  Plus…pumpkins.

Next Monday, we’re celebrating Josh’s 25th birthday.  Days after that, we’re leaving for a visit to the North Carolina State Fair.  We’re participating in another Walk Now for Autism Speaks event next weekend for my FIL’s work team.  We’ve got a string of dinner dates, small group meetings, football games, and date nights that we’re planning to fulfill. 

October is so busy which makes me happy, but this month is important for another reason.  October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  I think it’s fitting that the most beautiful time of the year is the time that we advocates bring awareness to the genetic differences that make our friends and family so beautiful.  It’s no secret that we here at C is for Callicutt think that different is beautiful and I’m so thankful that the NDSS has given me a chance to celebrate this month with you!

Everyone is disabled.  This has been covered.  Some people have genetic disabilities.  Some people have emotional disabilities.  Some people have spiritual disabilities and others have physical disabilities.  It is my belief that these disabilities—these differences—make us all unique and beautiful.  Josh and I believe that we’re made in the image of a perfect creator, but because we live in a world filled with sin, those perfections easily become imperfections.  The good news?  Those imperfections whether they are physical, genetic, emotional, or spiritual make our journeys unique.  They alter our stories so we can use our circumstances to help others. 

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder.  The placement of a full or partial extra copy of chromosome #21 causes the physical, genetic, and intellectual differences in a person with Down Syndrome.  One in 691 children are born with Down Syndrome which means approximately 6,000 cases of Down Syndrome are reported each year.  There are approximately 400,000 Americans with Down Syndrome, and let me tell ya, folks, I know some kiddos who are ROCKING that 47th chromosome like there’s no tomorrow.
It makes my heart soar to report that people with Down Syndrome are integrating themselves into life in inspiring ways.  Did you happen to catch this news story?  It made me jump up and down after I read it.  Or how about baby Nella, who at the age of 2 has already raised $300,000+ for the NDSS?  She’s too young to know the impact she is already making on this world, but that kid is going to move mountains, y’all! 

This month you can expect the usual from us:  recipes, Instagram dumps, random musings, mentions of unicorns, and lots of pictures of fried food {we are about to go to the Fair, y’all}.  But you can also expect several pieces about Down Syndrome and how people with Down Syndrome are impacting our world. 

Happy October, y’all! 

Want to get involved in Down Syndrome Awareness Month?  Why not check out a Buddy Walk, donate a month’s worth of Starbucks $$ to the NDSS, or read through this list of facts about Down Syndrome?


P.S.  If you're wondering, the best way to refer to this syndrome is by saying Down Syndrome.  You'll sometimes hear people say Down's Syndrome, but that is not the preferred language.   More on preferred languages and Spreading the Word to End the Word later.

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