If you love a kiddo with Down syndrome, you may be able to relate to the fear many soon-to-be parents feel when their doctors tell them their baby will be born with an extra chromosome and that that 21st chromosome will mean their kid may face a whole host of medical challenges during their lifetime. Fast forward a bit, though, and lots of those same parents find that the fear has been replaced by joy.
Photographs care of Jamie Freeman, thedownsyndromediaries on IG, and thedownsyndromediaries on FB
The trouble comes in how some members of the medical community communicate the news to parents. Down syndrome is often spoken about purely as an unwanted challenge. People like Jamie and Mark, Benjamin and Ellie, want to expand and elevate the understanding of what it means to raise a child with Down syndrome. Jamie says, “I want new parents receiving this news for the first time, both pre-natally or at birth, to hear from those that have gone before them that everything is going to be more than fine. Everything will be better than you ever imagined.”
Four-year-old Benjamin, who was born with Down syndrome, leaves his parents and community members awe-inspired every day. He repeatedly reminds them that difference is beautiful and the only limits he has are the ones other people put on him. His laughter is overflowing, his curiosity knows no bounds, and facing adversity never stops him from persevering.
Benjamin inspired his mother Jamie to begin The Down Syndrome Diary, which already has nine leather-bound hard copies circulating among families in 16 countries. Today, the diaries offer connection and a sense of community to families loving and raising a child with Down syndrome. But there is a secondary purpose, as well. Jamie declares, “The end game is to be able to publish these handwritten, honest stories into a beautiful book complete with pictures to be handed to those who have just received the news that their baby will be born with that amazing extra chromosome.” Want to help create that reality? Use checkout code GIVE910 to donate 10% of your purchase to The Down Syndrome Diary. Shop now to earn a donation.