Today is World Down Syndrome Day. People all over the world are celebrating the unique character and personality of people with Down's syndrome. We're celebrating the colour they bring to all our lives. I'd love to put together a really clever tome to inspire and encourage everyone. But I simply want to say Thank You.
Thank you to everyone who has been blogging, tweeting, posting, youtubing, emailing and generally all things ending with ...ing, the world over, for raising the profile of people with Down's syndrome and helping to challenge outdated thinking and perceptions.
Thank you to the organisations, charities, support groups who do so much to support people with Down's syndrome, their parents and carers, friends and family.
Thank you to the forward thinking media planners and producers who give air time, column inches and a voice to people with Down's syndrome across many media channels.
Thank you to health care professionals who do so much to care for people with Down's syndrome when they need it most.
Thank you to teachers, teaching assistants and all people connected with education who make education a possibility and a reality through creative planning and inspirational teaching.
But most of all, thank you all those beautiful people who have Chromosome 21 in triplicate - our friends with Down's syndrome. Quite frankly I am a far richer person for knowing you. You bring light, life and colour into the world. You make me see things in a completely different way.
You make me slow down. Stop. Look. Breathe.
You challenge me. You challenge my thinking. You challenge my hopes and my fears. You challenge my prejudice. You challenge my patience. You challenge my learning and my desire to learn more. You inspire me. You bring out from within me something that would otherwise have remained buried deep down; compassion. You help me realise that the most important person in the world is NOT me.