March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), the day that the Down syndrome community creates a single global voice advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome.
TopLine MD Alliance affiliated physician, Dr. Miladys Palau-Collazo, has penned a beautiful letter to her young son, as her family observes their first celebration of WDSD.
I rarely share personal matters on social media, but today I want to shout your worth with every ounce of my being. Lorenzo, today as a family, we celebrate our first World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.
I was 11 weeks pregnant when the doctor called with the unexpected news. I do not remember how exactly the news was delivered, but I do remember telling the doctor that we were going to love you no matter what. At the time of the call, we were on our way to your brother and sister’s tennis lesson, and I found it difficult to process the news at that time. Being a doctor, I was trying to be rational about our new reality.
Later that night, while I was giving your siblings a bath before bed, I ran out of the bathroom and fell to my knees. I cried so much that it became so hard for me to breathe.
I wish I could go back in time and have the knowledge that I was on the brink of experiencing a love like no other. I wish our Perinatologist visits would have been different. I wish the doctor would have focused on the positive things instead of the negative ones. I wish I was given the resources to navigate a prenatal diagnosis as I was already aware of all the potential medical complications. After all, I have had many patients with Down Syndrome and I have always said they were some of my favorite patients.
Little did I know that I was going to be part of The Lucky Few. The few that get to have someone so special to love every single day. The blessed one that gets to enjoy your contagious laugh and celebrate every milestone knowing that you are a miracle. The lucky one that gets surprised and amazed by how mighty and strong you are.
I prayed for you like I have never prayed before. I never asked God to take your diagnosis away but to fulfill His will in my life through you. You were truly fearfully and wonderfully made. If I could go back in time and ask God to give you 2 copies of chromosome 21 instead of 3 copies, I would not even consider it for a second. It would not be you, my sweet Lorenzo. We are so blessed that God picked us to be your family.
Today, we celebrate you and everyone that has Down Syndrome. I pray that we can change how expectant mothers receive their child’s Down Syndrome diagnosis. I hope that instead of doctors saying “I’m sorry,” moms get to hear “Congratulations!” and “Get ready for a wild ride!”
Everyone is created in their own unique way. I pray you get to experience a world that is inclusive and that makes you feel so worthy of love and respect. I hope that you are celebrated for your uniqueness, because after all, everyone is different. Let us celebrate our differences!
Lorenzo, there are not enough words to describe how much I love you and how blessed we are to have you. You truly make me, and all those around you, better.
Love you to infinity and beyond,
If you are involved in giving prenatal diagnosis and would like to see a video on how to deliver the news to a family please visit JacksBasket.org or watch the video below.
If you would like to learn about resources available to families that have received a prenatal diagnosis, please feel free to visit the Instagram accounts listed below.