What can you do to help raise awareness? As it turns out, alot!
I stopped by the National Down Syndrom Society website (http://www.ndss.org/About-NDSS/Newsroom/Recent-News/Down-Syndrome-Awareness-Month/) and found several ways to help educate and celebrate the lives of these angels.
The most known event is the annual Buddy Walk. Dates and locations of these vary but you can search the website above to find a venue near you. Did you know that every year Times Square shows a Down syndrome video on their jumbo screen in the streets of NY? You know the saying...if you can make it there you can make it anywhere! Way to go Down's Diva's & gentlemen.
I have decided to help raise awareness by sharing a story written by Terri Adrian on her niece Molliemae. This piece was featured in the book Sometimes The Wind Blows Sideways: Our Lives with a Special Needs Child. It is a reminded of just how special these children are.
My niece, Molliemae, is a three year old Down's child. She is bit small
for her age because she was born with a defective heart and they had to wait
until she was six months old to operate and fix it. She didn't do much growing
in those first six months of her life because her heart was so weak.
I don't get to spend much time with her. When I do see her I normally
have to chase her down, scoop her up in my arms and steal a kiss, and if I am
lucky, she might give me a hug, too. She is just far too busy a girl for all
that mushy stuff!
This past July one of my sisters lost her oldest son in an accident.
Molliemae was at the funeral with us all and after the service I saw her in the
arms of another family member, so I went over to her and gave her a big kiss on
the cheek. She smiled that big, beautiful smile of hers and then promptly
reached her little arm out to me, grabbed me around the neck and pulled me to
her in a big, tight hug.
Needless to say, I was very surprised and touched beyond words. She has never
spontaneously hugged me (and never has since). It's like she instinctively knew
that particular day how sad I was and how badly I needed that little bit of love
from her. I had hugged a whole lot of people during the two days we had all
spent in that funeral home but none of those hugs comforted me or moved me as
much as the one I got from our little Molliemae on that sad day. I will never
forget that special moment with that special little girl and how much it meant
to me to receive such a random act of kindness and love from a little girl who
obviously has such a big, strong heart.
I think that heart doctor of hers fixed her up just fine. Maybe he even
put a little something extra in there for her to share with us all. Something
beautiful and pure, warm and fuzzy. Something to fill our own hearts with so we
don't have to be so sad even in the worst of times.
Sometimes The Wind Blows Sideways: Our Lives with a Special Needs Child can be purchased through the following sites:
Barnes & Noble:
Do you have a story that you would like to share? Email me at WindingRoadBook@aol.com or click on the "How to submit your story" link above.