Faces of Down Syndrome

March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day, a time to recognize some under-valued people

All photos by Julia Willson, Bored Panda

By Mary Cooney

Thursday is World Down Syndrome Day. As many of you know, there is a real need to increase awareness about trisomy 21. Each year, about 6000 children are born with T21 in the United States. And they need all the love and support they can get to thrive in a world that seeks to eliminate them before they see the light of day.

Many of you have seen the stats. In many European countries, over 90% of babies diagnosed in utero with T21 are aborted. In the U.S., that number is estimated to be about 67%. If you do the math, that’s about 12,000 innocent children who die each year in the U.S. just for having an extra chromosome.

We need to change people’s perceptions of Down syndrome. Putting a face on it helps.

Could you possibly say that a child like this has no right to live?

Or this sweet one?

Or this adorable one?

People need to know that babies and children with Down syndrome are just a precious as any other child. Their medical needs or disabilities do not diminish their worth or dignity.

Furthermore, individuals with Down syndrome can and do lead happy, meaningful lives.

They bring joy and happiness to their friends and families.

Our lives are richer because of them.

A special thank-you to photographer Julie Wilson. She took these pictures in memory of her own sister, who had Down syndrome and died from heart disease.

Julie wrote: I am one of those people who have been greatly blessed by growing up with a sister who had Down Syndrome. Dina was the best thing that could have ever happened to our family. She taught us what true unconditional love is and how to go through life without worries…. I want people to see these children and know that if they are having a baby who has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, they will be blessed beyond words.

For World Down Syndrome Day, please share these pictures and let others know that life with Down Syndrome is a life worth living.

Mary Cooney is a home-schooling mother of six who lives in Maryland. Her youngest child has Down syndrome.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Mercatornet and is reposted with permission.