I found this beautiful quote on Pinterest recently.
“Your bravery will allow others to walk in courage. Live good stories. Be a good story.” ~ Bianca Oltoff
There have been many times I’ve wondered whether it’s time to throw in the towel on this blogging caper. Many a time I have questioned the sharing of our personal lives, our children’s faces, our stories. But when I receive an email from a mother saying that sharing our experiences gave her strength during her own prenatal diagnosis, or a local mum tells me how much she learned about Down syndrome from a guest post on the blog, it drives me forward. Our bravery allows others to walk in courage. Sharing our stories is so important, if a little scary.
Today is the first day of October and marks the beginning of Down syndrome awareness month.
So, why do we need to be aware of Down syndrome anyway? Last year, in her guest post, Leticia talked about the importance of awareness and why we need to bother raising awareness and being advocates for Down syndrome.
This year, I’d like to step it up a notch. I’d like to put out the challenge not just to be aware of Down syndrome, but let’s acknowledge and accept Down syndrome and the value of each and every individual who has three copies of a 21st chromosome. Because it’s not just about being aware of a syndrome and secretly hoping that it’s not a syndrome we ever have to deal with personally.
You know these family members of ours who rock an extra chromosome, whom we love so desperately? Well, we think they’re pretty awesome, just as they are. We barely see a diagnosis anymore. But we know that other people do.
We know that there are store managers who refuse entry to individuals based on a diagnosis.
We know that there are medical professionals who encourage terminating a pregnancy simply due to the presence of an extra chromosome.
Whether made public or not, we know there are many stories of discrimination against people with disabilities, many stories of lives not being valued as they should be. So, however we choose to advocate, it is so important that we do. We have come so far, but there is still more work to be done to achieve acceptance for our friends and loved ones with Down syndrome.
This month, as part of the ’31 for 21’ blogging challenge, I am honoured to once again host a whole range of stories here on the blog, lovingly shared by members of our Down syndrome community around Australia.
Throughout October, I look forward to sharing snippets of life with Down syndrome. I look forward to showing you examples of people who live their lives being ‘good stories’, to sharing different perspectives on the challenges and joys of loving someone with Down syndrome, and I look forward to demonstrating the beauty in diversity.
If you’d like to receive each post via email (and save them up for when you get a chance to read), please add your name and email address to the box at the top of this page or via this form. As usual, you can also find us hanging out over at Facebook and on Instagram. And, after camping out on the blog and social media for 31 days in October, I really hope I’m still married at the end of it 😉
I’d love you to join me for the ride. There’s so much in store over the next 30 days.
Ready, set, go…