World Down Syndrome Day: Edmonton mom says she won the lottery

Jordan Grace and Anna Maria read their mom's new book for World Down Syndrome Day. Supplied, Maria Jordan MacKeigan

EDMONTON — March 21 marks the 11th World Down Syndrome Day, and parents in the capital region want to take the opportunity to share their own stories about having a child with Down syndrome.

“We believe in our children and we’re trying to inspire that endless potential,” Rosalind Mosychuk with the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society said.

The Edmonton Down Syndrome Society has been helping families in northern Alberta for more than 20 years. The organization provides opportunities and experiences for people with Down syndrome to learn, grow and strive for their individual potential in their home, school and community life. They also support families.

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The organization’s main message this World Down Syndrome Day is to embrace the differences that those with Down syndrome have.

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Down syndrome occurs when there’s a defect involving chromosome 21, usually it’s an extra copy of the chromosome.

WATCH: Raising global awareness on World Down Syndrome Day

Maria Jordan MacKeigan’s daughter Ana Maria begged her for a little sister. When Ana Maria was six-years-old, Jordan Grace was born with Down syndrome.

“They adore each other,” smiled MacKeigan as she described her daughter’s relationship. “As soon as they see each other they light up.”

To mark Jordan Grace’s second birthday, MacKeigan penned a book called A Princess Wish, a fairytale about what it’s like having a child who is different. She wants all children to know it’s OK to have unique traits. She also writes regularly in a blog documenting the family’s journey.

“Being different is special,” the mom of two told Global News, as she talked about how rare the condition is.

“They are so loving, kind and special,” MacKeigan said, adding she wants other families to know just how special it is to have a child with Down syndrome. “They bring so much love to our families.”


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