March 21, 2023 (3rd month (trisomy); / 21st day) marked the 18th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, and for the twelfth year in 2023, this day will be officially observed by the United Nations. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder. I’m here to promote this most important awareness day which lands on the first full day of spring. The T21 t-shirt represents the most common type of Down Syndrome, trisomy 21, the triplication of the 21st chromosome upon conception, causing Down Syndrome. A few months ago, Bryan, whom I thought had NO idea he had Down Syndrome, proudly proclaimed this fact when meeting a new friend with the same designation. Like a badge of courage – a common bond between young adults!
Many times, colorful socks either matching or mismatched are worn in support of this segment of our population. Socks have a vague resemblance to chromosomes.
So, how did I come to own such a shirt? A dear high school teacher friend of mine (who teaches English at a high school in New Jersey) sent me the info. Her school was selling the t-shirts and colorful socks to raise awareness within their building of this international day of awareness. How wonderful that high school students and educators are elevating this day and helping to make others aware of this segment of our population! Teens can be passionate, powerful advocates.
I must sheepishly confess, living in my own little bubble of busyness, I did not even know this day was a “thing” until she sent me the link. It’s interesting how, when your child with Down Syndrome moves out of the house, awareness of what is happening globally goes out the door. You tend to concentrate on the day-to-day issues that arise with a hyperfocus on immediate needs, not what is happening in the world.
Last week it was a finger infection. This week was setting up a dentist appointment with a new provider. Next week, who knows? Life sometimes gets in the way. Happily, there are good things that arise. Like the picture Bryan’s roommate sent about the trophy he received for completing another season of basketball on Monday. He was so proud of that award, though he has at least fifteen similar trophies in his apartment from past years. Each one is treasured.
I must thank my friend for raising MY awareness as I raise yours, dear reader. And even though I’m too late this year to have you celebrate this day along with me, perhaps next year on the first day of spring you might consider some brightly colored or mismatched socks, tucking them into your shoes with a smile on your face knowing that, although they may not be visible, YOU know they are inside your shoes and that you are thinking about those individuals with Down Syndrome and celebrating them, along with the whole world!
2 thoughts on “T21”
Sometimes we just need a nudge to be reminded of something that affects so many. First day of Spring, mismatched socks, a friend with Down Syndrome, all are the “nudges” we need to be a more compassionate and caring society.
Please give a heads up next year, as to this special day – so I can gladly wear two mismatched socks 🧦‼️
Sent from my iPhone