Thursday, January 19, 2012

2 for 2 - Raising Awareness for Down Syndrome

If you haven't already visited her beautiful blog-- be prepared for a treat of amazing photos and two gorgeous little girls, Nella and Lainey.  They greatly remind me of my own two boys, Joey and Tommy.  Kelle Hampton's blog-- Enjoying the Small Things was the first place I found a story about having a baby who had Down syndrome.  It was only a month or so after finding out that our son, Joey, would be born with an extra chromosome that I stumbled across her posting called: Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story.  We were on a family trip to Hilton Head.  It was our first trip with just Tom, Tommy and I.  Our little family of three plus one in the oven.  The diagnosis was still fresh and we were still confused, scared and grieving about finding out our second son had an extra chromosome.  I was about 23 weeks pregnant and spent each night searching the internet for hope, words of wisdom and answers.  

I remember finding Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story and as I read it, tears streamed down my face as I silently cried and cried and cried.  I took the laptop over to my husband and said, "See-- it's going to be okay.  We aren't the only ones."  I found such comfort in Kelle's post about Nella's birth.  I took notes and decided that our baby boy's birth would also be a celebration complete with champagne and favors for all the family and friends who were there.  

This year, the Hampton family is trying to help raise $200,000 for the National Down Syndrome Society.  Last year they raised over $100,000.  "The National Down Syndrome Society has been dedicated to making a marked difference for people with Down syndrome since 1979. The mission of NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities."

If you would like to contribute to the 2 for 2 campaign (Joey is also turning 2 this year, so I'm donating in honor of him!), you can visit here.

In the meantime, I just want to thank the Hampton family for helping spread awareness, acceptance and understanding for the thousands of people who read their blog.  I am also grateful to them for putting their story out there and for helping me and other families.  


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