Across the world today people will celebrate and support children diagnosed with Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome, by wearing crazy socks.
Locally, a group of moms have taken it a step further for this World Down Syndrome Day. They went to social media to share their stories and help raise awareness of the genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome.
Emily Fox, a mother of a toddler with Down syndrome, said she often used World Down Syndrome Day as a day to celebrate her son, Boone T., and the way he has changed her family’s life.
“Since I am now two years into this journey I have had the privilege of coming alongside other mommas after they receive this diagnosis,’’ She said. “My original thought was to gather those moms together for lunch on World Down Syndrome Day. However, each of these mommas are very active on social media and use it as an opportunity to celebrate and advocate for their children.
“Because of this, I began to dream of a way we could all do this together,” she added.
Fox said Elaina Janes, an Elizabethtown photographer, was quick to hear her vision and offered her talents to help make it a reality. She said Janes included fellow local photographer, Martina Rachau.
Fox said the goal with the project is to share the story of Down syndrome, to show the community inclusion can bring joy to everyone. Most importantly, the project is meant to be a resource for new parents who may be receiving this diagnosis.
To those parents, Fox said it’s OK to grieve.
“Grieving is necessary so that you can move toward this new, different path,’’ she said. “A path that is sure to one day bring you incredible joy. But don’t stay in the grief, reach out to other parents who can help lead you on this new path.”
Janes said she has been sharing tid-bits of stories and photographs throughout the week on her facebook page — www.facebook.com/elainajanesphoto — and today they will have the group photo and a link to the blog with full stories and several more photos for World Down Syndrome Day.
If people would like to support or learn more about programs available to families, Fox pointed them toward the Down Syndrome Association of the Heartland.