Monday, June 29, 2009

An urgent appeal for the truth

An urgent appeal for the truth
This piece of news is a bombshell for those of us who love someone with Down syndrome. Right after we rejoiced that the Prenatally Diagnosed Condtions Awareness Act passed last October, the American College of Obstetricians, American College of Medical Genetics, and National Society of Genetic Counselors had a quiet meeting with National Down Syndrome Society and National Down syndrome Congress, at the University of South Carolina to agree on improving information given to parents expecting children with DS. Information has always been the ally of life. We are in favor of doctors and genetic counselors finally receiving some training about the positive aspects of life with Trisomy 21 as Dr Brian Skotko so eloquently expressed in this testimony before Congress at a meeting of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus last February.So far, great, right?But the document entitled "Toward Concurrence" didn't stop there. They denied the 90% abortion rate of DS children and that prenatal testing and genetic counseling were done to seek and destroy our precious children with DS. Have you ever seen it for any other reason? Then they took the absurdly unecessary step of saying that NDSS AND NSDC weren't pro-life. No kidding!I am preparing a press release to respond to these groups who have drawn a line in the sand by denying their help to unborn individuals with Trisomy 21 and their famlies (see attached).We MUST get this in front of the media. Please help me.I will do anything I can to help this reach the public before this type of poisonous lie becomes part of our nationalized health care system. Dr Jerome Lejeune, the French scientist who discovered the cause of Trisomy 21 devoted the rest of his life to find a cure for Down syndrome, for as he said, "If we don't find a cure, there won't be any left".Let honor his heroic efforts by declaring the awful truth of the holocaust of 90% of unborn babies with Down syndrome.
Bookmark and Share

My birthday at the beach

Today I celebrated another year of God's gift of life.

The day began with Holy Mass continued with a well made luncheon made by my girls, and finished with the fellowship at St Mary's youth group.

In between we spent a few wonderful hours on the ocean in Rhode Island. The sun came out and warmed the girls who were chilly from the water. We had mango ice and soaked up the sun.
God is good.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Sister Alicia May

Written by Nancy Tupper Ling
Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
Pleasant St. Press 2009

In this view into the daily life of a little girl with Down syndrome, big sister Rachel lovingly describes her six-year-old sister, Alicia May. Alicia May has endearing traits; she bursts through Rachel’s door in the morning with a sunny greeting, she gives great hugs, and she counts the dots on a ladybugs’ backs. Alicia May is good at remembering the names of the neighbors, and loves visiting Rachel’s friend Katie, however, she has temper tantrums when it’s time to leave, which Katie learns to dissipate with a bit of bargaining. Rachel is growing in courage as she learns to defend Alicia May against the cruelty of their schoolmates. She is both proud of Alicia May’s accomplishments and frustrated by her stubbornness.
Sister relationships are complex and beautiful things. When one of the sisters has special needs, the relationship may seem one sided; often the focus is on the special sister, and this is a mixed blessing. The typical sister learns to give more of herself and put up with more than most sisters do, growing emotionally beyond her peers, yet there are days when she runs short of patience for her demanding sister. “My Sister Alicia May” describes this unique relationship with a unique blend of candor and tenderness.
When I read the book to a group of older sisters of little girls with Down syndrome, there were some knowing grins when Alicia May acted up and surprised expressions when author, Nancy Tupper Ling acknowledged their ‘special ness’ as well. As a mother to an Alicia May and her two big sisters, I say it is long overdue praise for the big sisters.
This book will make those who love someone with Down syndrome alternately well up with tears and laugh as they relate to Rachel’s authentic description of her sister. Shennen Bersani’s lavish and vivid illustrations alone are worth the price of the book. Her realistic drawings of the girls portray with tenderness the unique character of our much-loved children.
This book is a must for anyone who loves children with ‘designer genes’.

Review by Leticia Velasquez
Catholic Media Review
This book is available from Pleasant Street Press
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vaccine Safety to be re-examined by CDC

My pediatrician and I were discussing vaccines. This happens every time I switch practices; I get 'the talk' about not vaccinating my children. The reason I don't is twofold; aborted fetal cell lines in vaccines, and the fact that Isabella contracted Whooping Cough from the old DTP vaccine (discontinued by the way). Christina is already delicate without risking her health to side effects of vaccines.
Here is a link to Dr William Sear's blog where he discusses a potential new study by the CDC into the claims that vaccines cause autism. I will be watching this closely.
For more information about the morality of those vaccines which use fetal cell lines go to Children of God for Life.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Feasts of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts

I spent these days at a pro-life conference with Fr Thomas Euteneuer of Human Life International, hearing him explain the crucial role played by prayer in the battle against abortion, and with my mother who is battling cancer.

I realized once again, how dependent I am on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

May they continue to protect and guide our family and yours.
May our dedicated prayers bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart in our lifetime.

Tune into AirMaria for beautiful homilies on the Sacred and Immaculate hears from Fr Angelo and Fr Igantius at the Marian Friary of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Christina's Field Day

It was what the Irish call "a soft day" meaning gloomy cold mist all day, yet it only served to highlight the bright colors and smiles in the photos. I was so happy to be able to spend an entire day with her at school.
Don't you just love her with all the beads in front of the mirror?!

Monday, June 15, 2009

How the International Down Syndrome Coalition is changing hearts

My friend Diane from IDSC has given me permission to share from her email today. I have been blogging to save lives of babies in danger of abortion because they have Down syndrome for three years. I think I have a handle on how horrible the thinking is about our beloved children, yet Diane's email today left me breathless, and reminded me just how important our internet presence is. We willnever know how many lives we have saved until we meet in heaven. But keep up the good work, Diane, you can see that God has a lot more work for you out there.

Finally, we wanted to share a little information with you. We like to check to see what people will type in their google search engine to find us. We have been surprised to find out that many who are considering abortion are finding us. They are also exiting out of the site on the great pro life resources that we have available for them. We thought you may want to see what some of the words they type into the search engine are. I have copied these exactly as they are, and they are a small sample:

choosing to terminate a downs baby

is down syndrome incompatible with life
do children suffer from Down syndrome
parents starving baby down syndrome
ending pregnancy for down syndrome
choosing to terminate a pregnancy for down syndrome
option to terminate the life of a baby with down syndrome
life for the suffer of down syndrome
our baby has down syndrome
federal law concerning "down syndrome" (I have no clue what this would mean.)

Please continue to keep these families in your thoughts and prayers. We hope that any information we have to offere will help them as they make their decision for their child. We are so glad that the IDSC is coming up so often in search engines when they are looking for information concerning abortion of their child who happens to have Down syndrome. These words can take your breath away. Real people, needing real solutions are finding us!

Thanks to all of you helping to get the word out there, people are finding us!

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 12, 2009

NDSS new public awarenesscampaign; My Great Story

My Great Story!
My Great Story seeks to honor and celebrate the great stories of the 400,000 Americans living with Down syndrome by showcasing these stories in a beautiful online storybook.
This book will feature inspirational stories about work, school, friends, family, hobbies, travel, the NDSS Buddy Walk® program and many other things.
If you have Down syndrome, we want to hear your great story! We want to learn about your achievements, dreams, aspirations, successes, and anything else about yourself that you want to share.
If you have a great story about someone you know who has Down syndrome, tell us! We want to know how he/she has inspired you. You can tell a story about your friend, family member, colleague, student, patient, neighbor, etc
Please encourage everyone you know to get involved by passing along this email or web address below!
The My Great Story website was created by
York & Chapel
NDSS has taken it one step further and turned two great stories into a national public service announcement (PSA), featuring the great stories of Sujeet Desai, The Traveler and Sara Wolff, The Public Speaker, featured below.
These PSA’s will be featured in national and local media outlets across the country this fall, as well as high profile websites.
These dynamic print ads were shot by renowned photographer,
Zachary Scott.
The ad creative was developed pro-bono by
Pedone Media.
Click here to watch the ‘behind the scene’s’ video from the photo shoot.
Click here to read the story of Sujeet Desai, The Traveler

Thursday, June 11, 2009


We are praying more intently than ever for Mom, who has widespread late stage cancer.
Please join us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tour of Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse WI

This is the latest site for a Friary of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

A Meditation on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

There, where my dear Jesus dwells,
where He is enthroned in the tabernacle,
there I wish to be kneeling continually.
There, I wish to pray unceasingly:
Jesus, I love You deeply.
Hidden Love, I adore You.
Abandoned Love, I adore You.
Despised Love, I adore You.
Love trampled underfoot, I adore You.
Infinite Love, dying on the Cross for us, I adore You.
My dear Lord and Savior,
make it be that I am all love and expiation
toward the Most Blessed Sacrament
in the heart of Your most loving Mother Mary.
by Maria Stang
(a woman who persevered in her faith under the cruel
Communist atheistic rule for many years and who taught and brought the faith to many,
keeping the love of the Lord in the most Blessed Sacrament alive)

Friday, June 5, 2009

The prayer of a little saint

We have been dealing with the news that my mother has an operable tumor which is most likely malignant. It has been terrifying, yet moments of grace have kept us going. Like when I hear from friends and strangers who are praying for Mom, or the look of compassion on my pastor's face when I told him. He lost his mother a few months ago.

Yesterday God gave us another moment of grace.
I was outdoors with Christina, trying to absorb the gravity of the bad news I had just received by phone: the surgeon said that Mom's tumor was probably malignant. I was trying to move beyond the paralysis of fear and find the words to pray about it. I was to pray silently as I walked around the yard, finally sitting down on the stoop in the exhaustion of grief.

Christina got up, saying "Church", and walked over to the statue of Our Lady of Grace in front of the house. She patted the statue on the shoulder, then stepped back, crouched down and made the Sign of the Cross alone for the first time. Her little hands clasped tightly, she began to pray. For five minutes, Christina mentioned all of our family members, including my mother as we do in our nighttime prayers. Her little face was a model of concentration and at one point she closed her eyes. It was obvious that she was praying, not imitating our actions, since we pray indoors and typically at her bedside. She has never seen us pray in front of this particular statue of Our Lady.

When Christina finished her prayers, she made the Sign of the Cross, and again reached out to touch the shoulder of the statue of Our Lady, and when she turned to leave, patted her head affectionately.

I immediately called Mom and Dad to tell them about the prayers of our little saint. They were moved and uplifted by this gesture of love and faith that was so unexpected. When Christina was baptized, Fr McCartney said, "sometimes I think that people with Down syndrome feel sorry for us, because we can't see what they see". Yesterday, Christina proved that she could pray with words when her mother couldn't. I know God heard us both, but I can't help feeling that the prayers of such innocent children carry a special weight with He who asked the little children to come to Him.

May Our Lady and Jesus hear and answer her heartfelt prayers for "Gramma".

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Isabella is 12, Gabriela is sweet sixteen

Friday, May 29, was a whirlwind day, I was subbing at Bellas school, then we rushed home with her best friend Mary to change and go out to enjoy "Night at the Museum 2". We completed the celebration with pizza and ice cream sundaes before packing the car to drive down to visit Grandma and Grandpa.
On Saturday, we attended a Down syndrome activities day at St Anthony's High School with our Long Island friends. Afterwards I took Christina to a pro-life youth conference at Nassau Community College, where she enjoyed the food, and I tried to enjoy the speeches. We stopped at our friend's home for tea, then home for a big roast beef dinner cooked by Grandpa.

Sunday, after Mass in the parish I grew up in, St Philip Neri, Northport, I walked the girls home down Main Street, the same path I used to take to daily Mass the summers when I was a teenager. I showed them the bushes where I used to pick flowers to put in front of the Blessed Mother's statue, when I felt that I had a religious vocation at 15. Such tender memories were great to share with my girls.

We took my brother Rob's two boys out with Christina to the local farm to visit the animals, something we both did as children. Here is a photo of Bella looking pensive at the farm.

There we had some family time and a great big Baskin Robbins CHOCOLATE cake for both Bella and Gabbi who turned 16 last Tuesday. Please keep my mother Eleanor in your prayers, she is in pain and has surgery scheduled.

On June 2, after school, Gabbi invited two friends to a shopping trip to spend her gift from her grandparents and then to come home and share a meal and her birthday cake. The lively conversations lasted past midnight,

They are such beautiful, intelligent young ladies, with such vivacious senses of humor. I am truly blessed to be their mother. May God grant them a grace-filled joyful, healthy year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Friendly Blogger Award

My friend Elizabeth at The Divine Gift of Motherhood gave me the Friendly Blogger Award. She gave me credit for helping her get started in blogging. If so, I can take a bow for helping to raise the quality of writing in the blogosphere. She is a dear friend, outstanding mother and superb writer.

Thanks, from Tigger (my sixth grade nickname for my boisterously happy personality) Too bad you can't see me sing "The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers"!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Among Women nominated for Catholic New Media Awards

My friend Pat Gohn's podcast Among Women was nominated for several categories at the Catholic New Media Awards(formerly Catholic Blog Awards). See my review here, then go vote for her!