A Toronto mother marked World Down Syndrome Day with a touching tribute to her daughter.
“Julia has accomplished so very much,” Ruth Zive wrote in Today’s Parent magazine.
She says that her 17-year-old daughter, who doctors said would never thrive, is on her high school cheerleading team, excels at math and – like many teenagers – is a convincing liar. She’s also very popular.
“I cannot go anywhere with Julia (the mall, the doctor, the movies) without having her bump into someone that she knows. And she is always greeted with exuberance and love—I have come to be known simply as Julia’s mom,” Zive writes.
Julia also has big dreams for the future: she wants a bright yellow car, a date with Ross Lynch, a career as a baseball player and to be treated like an adult.
World Down Syndrome Day is marked on March 21 – the 21st day of the third month. The date was chosen because Down Syndrome is characterized by a third copy of chromosome 21. There are typically only two copies of every chromosome.
This year, the ninth annual World Down Syndrome Day, the organization behind it is focusing on access to healthcare.
According to the WDSD website, the group is advocating for healthcare without discrimination, and reminding?? that having Down syndrome does not make a person unhealthy.
Zive has seen that firsthand. She said that she was warned her daughter would have chronic ear infections and would be frail.
Julia has never had an ear infection, Zive said, and despite having hypothyroidism, is otherwise healthy.
Click here to read more from Zive.
WDSD is asking people to wear mismatched socks to spark a conversation about Down syndrome. Did you wear an odd pair on Friday?