Many of our friends and family members have told me that Levi is the first person they've known with Down syndrome, and you know what? I don't think anyone that knows Levi is afraid of him. I don't think any of them would tell someone with a prenatal diagnosis that they should have an abortion because they think our family that is really hurting and burdened by our child with Down syndrome. I think everyone that knows Levi is glad that he is in their lives.
Having a child with Down syndrome is not a life sentence. It is an eye-opening, beautiful experience. I constantly wonder what I can do to help a new mom that is beginning this journey or how I can encourage someone with a prenatal diagnosis. I think the only way to make a person less afraid is to know someone with Down syndrome because if you have ever truly KNOWN someone with Down syndrome, you probably fell head over heels. I have had the pleasure of knowing a few individuals with Down syndrome when I was growing up, and I really think that is what helped me quickly accept his diagnosis and to focus on the joy.
MaterniT21 is a new test expectant mothers can take at ten weeks. The name of the test is a play on words. T21 is short for Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome (a triplication of the 21st chromosome). The test is non-invasive, nothing like amniocentesis. Just by giving a sample of blood from her arm, a mother would know possibly before she has made her pregnancy known to others, if her unborn child has Down syndrome. Over 90% of people who currently find out when they are 20 weeks along (via amniocentesis) that their child has Down syndrome chose to end that child's life. It is not a stretch to guess that even more children like Levi will be killed before they even have a chance to breathe because of this new test.
If you are unfamiliar with the MaterniT21 test, here is a news video.
So I need you to share Levi with others. Help others fall in love with him. Help others see that he isn't someone to be afraid of. Share his story. Share his video. That is all I need from you today. Help me make a difference. It will only take a second of your time. If you are here because you clicked on my facebook link, just click "share" on your facebook page. Email a link to someone you know. Spread the word that these children are VALUABLE. They should be given the chance to LIVE. Who knows, you may touch the heart of an expectant mom who is secretly struggling with a decision about her unborn child. A new mom who was surprised by a diagnosis may find encouragement through our story.
If you haven't seen it yet, here is Levi's video entitled "I Do Not Have Special Needs."
Thank you in advance for sharing and being a part of World Down Syndrome Day.