The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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Because Daniel was Born with 47 Instead of 46 Chromosomes
Daniel and Mary
Daniel and Mary
Because Daniel was Born with 47 Instead of 46 Chromosomes

When our son, Daniel, was born on May 11, 1998, I never would have imagined what a difference he would make not only in my life, but in the lives of others. Being a parent changes you anyway, but when you are the parent of a child with Down syndrome, you are changed forever. We didnt know Daniels diagnosis prior to his birth, so to say we were surprised would be an understatement. I am a 'glass half full' type of person, so I thought to myself "at least I never have to be a soccer mom and drive a mini-van because he has Down syndrome and he wont be playing soccer." Well, I found out that there is soccer for individuals with disabilities, and basketball and horseback riding and baseball and he enjoys all of them! I still dont have a mini-van, however :) . Daniel challenged me as a person to do things that I wouldn't have done and has taken me on a journey that I never would have gone on if he would have been born with 46 instead of 47 chromosomes. When I found out that there wasn't a parent group, my husband and I started one which now has over 400 families and professionals. When I found out about the Buddy Walk, another mother and I thought "we can have one of those here in Omaha" and we made it happen and it is an annual event. When I found out about the Buddy Walk on Washington to advocate for policies for individuals with disabilities, I took part in two events and lobbied on Capitol Hill- this wouldnt have happened if Daniel would have been born with 46 instead of 47 chromosomes. I have testified at state hearings for programs for individuals with disabilities. I have advocated for his rights (and others) at a local level- this wouldnt have happened if he had been born with 46 instead of 47 chromosomes. His picture has been selected five times for the NDSS Times Square Video and we got to travel to New York to see him in Times Square. I helped bring a bike clinic for individuals with disabilities that wouldnt have happened if Daniel had been born with 46 instead of 47 chromosomes. Daniel has challenged me to see the potential in all individuals with disabilities and what they are capable of doing -this wouldnt have happened if he would have been born with 46, instead of 47 chromosomes. Are you seeing a pattern here? My life would have definitely been less rich and fulfilling if Daniel had been born with 46 instead of 47 chromosomes. He has given me a passion and desire to make changes and make differences in policies, attitudes and perceptions of our individuals. What a blessing it has been and will continue to be as Daniel challenges me to be a better person, a better parent, and to make changes for others- all because of that extra chromosome!




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