Dear DSAW Family,
In honor of Giving Tuesday, we wanted to share our family's story with you. We hope it will inspire you to make a gift to the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin in honor of your loved one with Down syndrome.
We never knew anyone personally with Down syndrome before Julia was born. The diagnosis was somewhat scary and the books we read when we found out the diagnosis were even scarier. They focused on accepting the diagnosis, the challenges she would have and how she would be different. Not one of those books said "Congratulations on your beautiful baby and wonderful human being!" The health care professionals, although kind, also focused on the challenges. Family and friends didn't know what to say. Their first words after we told them the diagnosis was often "I'm sorry." We knew it was awkward and they all meant well. We are here to tell you, while we are many things, sorry is not one of them.
Down syndrome is just a diagnosis. It does not define who Julia is or who she will be. She may not be typical, but we wouldn't want her to be. It is true that it often takes our children longer to learn, or walk, or talk and it is true that they have distinct genetic features and health care issues. But it is also true that our children have unique personalities that teach acceptance, patience, perseverance, loyalty, forgiveness, kindness, and a capacity for unconditional love like no other. Our lives will never be the same because of this amazing little girl and her ability to brighten any room and any day with her smiles, snuggles, hugs and laughter! We are truly blessed.
As we continue on this journey, we are so grateful for the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin. DSAW has brought us together with other families who understand Down syndrome and just how amazing our children are. DSAW gives us a community to reach out to with questions, whether it be on dealing with behaviors, health care concerns, access for our children, or where to find a dance class for Julia! Jorge has found community in the D.A.D.S. (Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome) group where they socialize and talk about all kinds of topics and resources.
DSAW continues to show us how individuals like Julia are more alike than different. They teach us how to deal with the many common misconceptions about our children and how to make sure they have the support they need to live their lives to the fullest and to be accepted for who they are, not defined by their diagnosis! But DSAW needs your help to continue this amazing work. Would you consider making a life-changing donation to support DSAW's work? When you support DSAW Inc., you provide resources and support for families in need and pave the way for future generations.
From our family, and families like ours across the state, thank you for your generosity. With your help, DSAW will assist our daughter and all of our loved ones with Down syndrome to live their lives to their fullest potential!
Sincerely,Jorge, Julie, and Julia Aguilar
PS - Have you crossed everyone off your shopping list? Consider donating your savings from Black Friday & Cyber Monday to DSAW on Giving Tuesday. It's an easy way to give back!