Melissa DePape already has tattoos of her daughter’s blue eyes on her wrists. Now she has another permanent reminder of Nevaeh: the lucky few tattoo.
“It just represents that we’re the lucky few parents that get to have kids with Down syndrome,” said the Morinville, Alta. mother.
The three stacked arrows symbolize the three copies of chromosome 21, which causes the genetic condition. The tattoo is named after a book, The Lucky Few, which spurred a viral #luckyfewtattoo movement in the United States.
Now DePape is hoping Canadian parents and caregivers will get inked on March 21: World Down Syndrome Day.
“I put it out on social media – ‘Is anyone interested?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!'” DePape said.
Lisa St-Onge is one of those moms. She appreciates that the tattoo’s arrows point outward to represent a transfer of power from parent to child.
“It’s our job to… empower our children… to not direct them in the way that we want to, but just to support them in the ways that they need to be supported,” St-Onge said.
DePape’s daughter, Nevaeh, is the best friend of St-Onge’s son, Michael. Both nine-year-olds are living with Down syndrome.
The mothers feel their special kids bring out the best in each other – and in their families.
“I think (kids with Down syndrome) bring something to your family and to your household that you maybe didn’t realize was missing,” St-Onge said.
“They don’t really judge. They don’t see the negative things in our world… they kind of only see what’s good and amazing,” DePape added.
“That’s why we consider us lucky… they teach us more than what we’d ever think a child could teach us.”
The Edmonton lucky few tattoo event is on March 21 at Goodfellas Ink.