It was about this time last year that we shared Molly’s story of Down syndrome with our friends, extended family and the world (thanks to the internet)! I’ll never forget the emotion I felt when I hit “publish” on the blog post explaining our family’s new path. There was fear, sadness and even a little excitement. I wanted everyone to know how proud I was of my little Molly. The support we received (and are still receiving) from people we knew was amazing – and more so, the support we’ve seen from total strangers has been unbelievable.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and throughout the next thirty days, I hope to share information about Down syndrome with you. Check out the following information from the National Down Syndrome Society –
- Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition. One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome. The most common form of Down syndrome is called Trisomy 21 , because it involves an extra copy of the 21st chromosome.
- Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
- Up to 50% of individuals with Down syndrome are born with congenital heart conditions. The majority of heart conditions in children with Down syndrome can now be surgically corrected with resulting long-term health improvements. (Editor note: Molly was in the minority and has no heart conditions.)
- A 35-year-old woman has about a one in 350 chance of conceiving a child with Down syndrome, and this chance increases gradually to one in 100 by age 40. At age 45 the incidence becomes approximately one in 30. (Editor note: I had a one in 850 chance.)
This past year has been quite a journey for us – a roller coaster of highs and lows…..but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The world of Down syndrome is scary at times, but it’s also one of great joy. In just a short fifteen months, Molly is feeding herself, getting some great practice walking with assistance and just being a typical, fun little girl….that has an extra chromosome!
What things would you like to know about Down syndrome? I’m certainly not a medical expert – but I’m a mom…..and that makes me an expert on every day life with Down syndrome!