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Down Syndrome, You Saved My Life

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Dear Down syndrome,

I honestly didn’t know what you were when they walked in my room after my daughter was born and told me you may be inside her. They also told me my baby girl had a heart defect because of you. I must say, I didn’t care who you were at first; I just knew my baby had a bad heart that required surgery –because of you.

When the test result came back that she indeed had an extra copy on her 21st chromosome, I was so worried about what you would do to my Vada. How would she do in school? How would her health be affected? How could you, Down syndrome? Why her?

She didn’t deserve this, and I didn’t ask for this.

As my girl grew, I actually started to love you, Down syndrome.



Yes, I know your question: “Why?”

Well, I ask back, “Why not?”

Down syndrome, you may have slowed my girl down, delayed her speech, made her socially awkward and made it so she has to work extra hard just to learn her “ABC’s” and “123’s,” but you also gave my girl the ability to teach unconditional love, patience and to never use the words “I can’t,” or “It’s too hard.”

Down syndrome, you saved my life.

I wouldn’t want you to disappear from my Vada ever. I believe she wouldn’t be who God made her to be otherwise.

So I want to say thank you, Down syndrome. You gave me the best gift of a lifetime. My Vada is perfect. My Vada is so much fun. My Vada is so smart! My Vada will do great things when she grows up. I have you, Down syndrome, to thank.

Vada’s mom
Leanna Hamilton


The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

Originally published: March 12, 2015
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