“You have no concept of how your life is going to be blessed.”
In 2011, photographer Julie Wilson lost her older sister, who was just 35 years old and had Down syndrome. As a tribute to her sister for Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Wilson brought together families to share stories about how Down syndrome became a blessing in disguise. “People don’t really look at Down syndrome as a huge positive, but growing up with a sister that had Down syndrome there was nothing better,” Wilson said. “I hate that Down syndrome is looked down upon.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 6,000 babies are born in the United States with Down syndrome annually, with a higher percentage born to mothers over the age of 35. People with Down syndrome have an increased chance of congenital heart disease, hearing problems, and cognitive delays. But for many families, these children possess an unimaginable ability to love and create joy.
According to a mother in the video, “You have no concept of how your life is going to be blessed beyond measure by your child.” For some parents who have a child with Down syndrome, the positives dramatically outweigh the disadvantages. “They tell you that she’s not going to walk in a year. They tell you that she’s not going to talk in a year,” a mother said. “They don’t tell you about all the love she will bring to your family.”