It’s World Down’s Syndrome Day 2016 and this is blog #21 of my 21 blogs campaign. The response has been nothing short of amazing. There have been over 20,000 views of the website and well over £1k has been raised. (There is still time to donate – www.justgiving.com/downwithdad)
Curating (thanks Henry for giving me a job title!) the blogs over the last 3 weeks has been quite intense. Spending such a long time focussed on the subject has been quite tiring and I’ve found myself more upset by some of Eilidh’s challenges than maybe I thought I was. The more I immerse myself in it, the more angry I get with the injustice of it all. To be honest, I am quite looking forward to not thinking about it for a few days.
Of course not everyone can just forget about things for a few days and through reading these blogs my admiration for those who live with ‘difference’ day in, day out has grown exponentially. I also bow down to those who campaign for change and who work tirelessly, wholly focussed on improving things for people who need support.
Despite these self-indulgent moans about the work involved, the blogs have been completely worth it. There have been countless messages of support and encouragement for Eilidh and the other people in the blogs. I hope that together we have entertained, educated and enlightened. Hopefully it has made people stop, think and question what is important. I hope it has helped people…
I wonder if anyone has recently been told that there is a high ‘risk’ (note, not ‘chance’) that their unborn or newly born baby may have DS. I hope they might find balance in our blogs. Of course there are challenges, but nothing as a family we can’t handle, and I wouldn’t change my wee girl for anything.
I wonder whether those who wrote the blogs felt the community support like I do when I write about my experiences. It is not easy to put your personal thoughts down on paper and you never know what reaction you are going to get. For me the reaction has been fully supportive and I’m humbled to hear how our friends regard us as a family.
I wonder if someone who needs mental health support might read one of the blogs and realise that they are not alone. They’ve now got the contact details of 21 different people who might be able to help!
I wonder if Iain Duncan Smith resigned because he read some of the blogs and realised that targeting those who need some support is a shameful policy. I doubt it. You know things are really bad when even he feels the Government has gone too far.
Anyway, back to WDSD, for this is what it is all about! Today we will all be wearing our odd socks in support of the campaign. Today I will be giving Eilidh a slightly bigger cuddle than normal. This cuddle will, therefore, be ridiculously big.
Hopefully every one of you who has read the blogs will know all about World Down’s Syndrome Day now, where maybe before you didn’t. I hope that you will be more aware of what DS is and with that awareness you will be more accepting and tolerant.
The message I hope that everyone takes away from 21 blogs is that it is ok to be different. In fact, it’s pretty cool to be different. It’s what makes us human.
Thanks for reading.