They were both in wheelchairs when they met. Muscular dystrophy had weakened Margaret “Muffi” Lavigne and Chris Plum. The incurable disease had put them both in wheelchairs and in hospital. But in the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain,…
Some things are too good not to share. I won’t blather on about them, as I am wont to do. I’ll just post them from time to time as “Short Takes”. Here’s the first, thanks to my friend Debbie Hartley and her daughter Kirsten.
Have a short take you’d like to see posted here? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The worried mother’s letter to CoorDown, expressed a fear I’ve heard many times from pregnant friends: “I’m expecting a baby. I’ve discovered he has Down syndrome. I’m scared: what kind of life will my child have?”
CoorDown, a national organization for Italians with Down syndrome, hired the advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, to create an ad campaign in response to that poignant query. In the video, 15 young people with Down syndrome give reassuring answers to the future mom.
It is a joy-filled, touching video CoorDown hopes will reassure parents worried about the future of their Down syndrome children. That it has gone viral is not surprising.
Will it change hearts? That’s hard to say. Among the blizzard of comments are many from people who would abort a child they knew would be born with Down syndrome. I don’t judge them for believing they do not have it in them to be good parents to a child with special needs. None of us can crawl inside another’s heart, nor live another’s life. But I hope knowing more people with Down syndrome (and there are some standouts on this blog) will raise expectations and rewrite the future.
Children don’t come with guarantees. What they do come with is a set of challenges. They need parents who can handle the curve balls. My mother could. My father couldn’t. Parents don’t come with guarantees either.
This campaign may help ease fears and erase some stereotypes about children born with Down syndrome. What makes it so effective is the skillful storytelling. Without denying the challenges, it holds out the prospect of joy.