Monday, September 13, 2010

Loving Solo

I told you guys that September is a time for me to remember and celebrate. Today, I'm remembering three years ago and celebrating my hero's birthday.

The details are foggy, but I remember getting a call from someone (my sister, Martha?) to let me know that our newest nephew, Solomon Jordan, had arrived. Along with the other details conveyed when telling about a newborn, there was some very unexpected news. Solomon has Trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down Syndrome.

Every child that enters the world changes it in some way. September 13, 2007 changed our family in a very special way. Solomon led us into the world of Down Syndrome, and every day he leads people to a love and awareness of this world.

Never one to put too much stock in statistics, there is one I use liberally, and a Google search shows that others in medical journals and news articles use it as well.

90% of parents who receive a pre-natal diagnosis of Down Syndrome choose to abort their unborn babies.

Parents and families of those who choose to give birth to and raise these amazing people are faced with the battle to educate the medical community and society about the needs and contributions of those in the DS spectrum. Many have voiced an urgent concern that the more pre-natal testing becomes prevalent, this trend of abortion will continue and grow, resulting in a smaller population with which to justify medical testing and developments of new treatments to improve the quality of life for those who are born.

Abortion breaks my heart, but this particular genetic genocide, comes so close to home. For me, I find it more fruitful to help in the education and awareness process, to try to address the demand (society's fear, ignorance) for these abortions, rather than to merely fight supply (laws, practitioners, clinics). The main way I do this is in supporting the organizations who take such good care of my nephew; namely the American Heart Association, the Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa and the Little Light House.

I've written about and linked to the Little Light House before, so you might remember that it is a non-profit school in Tulsa, OK for special-needs kids. They operate solely on donations, receive no federal funding, and is really a one-of-a-kind place for hundreds of families in Oklahoma. Solomon went on the waiting list to enter almost as soon as he was born and started classes there last fall.

It is nearly impossible to put into words the difference this school has made for Solo and our family. The families are not charged a dime for the education that is worth around $25-30,000 a year, but we are encouraged and motivated to help raise money to keep the school going.

So here is a birthday request on Solo's behalf. Would you consider donating $3, $13, $33 or more to his fundraiser? On Sept 25, he'll be participating in the Little Light House's Mini-Laps. Each child at this amazing school will make one lap around a mini-track with a huge crowd of supporters looking on, cheering every step. I didn't get to go last year and won't make it this year either, (which I'm super bummed about) but I've been told there are not many dry eyes in the crowd as each child, their teachers and families come around the track.

This year, I'm going to cheer with my bank account. Will you join me? As of this posting, he's reached 45% of his goal of $5,000. If enough people can make small (or large) donations, we can get him there on his birthday!

And just in case you didn't get a chance to watch this video yet, please watch it and share it, then go to the link and show Solo some love!

PS- for those of my creative-type friends, if you feel like donating one of your creations so I can do a give-away for Anna's Joy blog readers who donate to the Mini-Laps, let me know via e-mail! Thanks!

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