When my beloved nephew, Justice, was born, we didn’t know much about Down Syndrome. I did a lot of research on the internet to find out what we would be facing and what kind of support my brother’s family would need. I talked to co-workers who worked in disability support to find out what kinds of information they had that would assist me and the rest of the family in dealing with this new, beautiful baby who had some severe medical issues (long-time readers, if you will remember, Justice was born a month early and had a hole in his heart).
I contacted an organization in our state, Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona, Inc.. They were amazing. They sent Shadow’s family a large package full of information, books, CDs, and journals to welcome Justice into the world. They sent me a package, as well. They let us know that if there was anything they could do, they would give us support.
Each year, we attend the Sharing DS Buddy walk in Phoenix. It is a fun event where families come together to celebrate their beautiful family members who have Down Syndrome. There are raffles and booths and bouncy rooms and bands and good food. And there is an easy one mile walk where everyone joins together to walk for Down Syndrome. We look forward to doing this every year.
A few days ago, my brother came up to my office with Willow and Justice. He had on a t-shirt that read, “My kid has more chromosomes than yours.” One of my co-workers came into my office later and commented on it. “I loved Shadow’s shirt. That is AWESOME.” I beamed. I nodded. We’re so proud to have Justice in our lives. He’s a beautiful boy who touches us in small ways every day.
In the vein of National Association of Charitable Photographers, I want to give back to the people who have been there for my family and for so many other families that are learning about Down Syndrome.
I have recently created an order a print page on all of my photography web sites. 75% of all proceeds that come from the sales of my photographs will go back to Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona, Inc.. They know of this venture and are supportive of it. In fact, when I contacted them, Gina, the main person in the organization, wrote back to me within a few hours,
I looked at your website and the picture there is simply beautiful. Thank you so much for your willingness to donate…I will forward your note to my Proud Parent list so they can see what you have and know you are donating a portion of the money earned back to help us here at Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona.
Love you very proud Aunt,
And I am. I’m a very proud aunt who loves Justice with all of my heart. If I can give back a tenth of what Gina’s organization has given us, then it will be worth it.
Please pass the word along. If you know of anyone who is looking for photography prints, please let them know about this.
I would appreciate it.