Today is a very special day indeed. Its World Down Syndrome Day, designated by the United Nations to celebrate and bring awareness to the genetic condition of Down Syndrome (DS) across the world. To see the ability instead of the disability, and for organizations that support those with DS to take centre stage and showcase what DS is, and isn’t. I am blown away with just how much information and awareness I come across every day. Perhaps its because of social media and the multitude of ways we all connect to be seen and heard, or, perhaps its because my focus has changed and I’m looking for what’s out there in support of people with DS and finding so many great things. Or, could it be that something is shifting…. maybe everyone is starting to see the fact that people with DS are very special and bring something into this world that is deeply needed – LOVE! If you know someone with DS you know exactly what I’m talking about. I was so lucky to have my brother Ken in my life since the day I was born. He showed me what love looked like every single day and he did it with such ease. I can’t imagine my life growing up without him, nor do I want to. I don’t have him in my life today as he passed away 3 1/2 years ago, but I do have him in my heart and he lives on in the stories and memories I hold dear.
Today is also the day I’m officially launching my book “Hello My Name is Ken”. World Down Syndrome Day seems like a significant and appropriate day since the book is about the life story of an amazing fella with Downs and his wonderful accomplishments. There are so many incredible success stories, heartfelt tributes, Ted talks, and much more, highlighting the magnificent lives of people with DS. From Gerber Babies, to People Magazine models, to successful athletes, business owners and advocates speaking in front of Government, the vision of inclusion for people with DS, that started many years ago is gaining momentum!! We as a family couldn’t be happier to bear witness to all the opportunities available today for children, families and young adults with DS.
Ken’s story and the cause it has given rise to (supporting those aging with DS), is another step in the direction of Inclusion as well. I hope we can inspire the change we need to see and keep the momentum of inclusion going all the way the through to their senior years!!