World Down Syndrome Day: Thank You for Loving My Child

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

down syndrome
Photo credit: Trisha Stibbe

Today, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day. I find myself reflecting on the immense gratitude I feel for the individuals and communities that have embraced children with Down syndrome like never before.

Our daughter, Claire, turns 9 next month. The last nine years have profoundly changed me. The joy she brings to everyone is immense, but the life she has today would not be possible without so many individuals and the parents who walked in our footsteps before.

Today, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to those who have made an extraordinary impact in the lives of our loved ones. 

World Down Syndrome Day

Teachers and Support Staff

To the dedicated educators and support staff who tirelessly champion inclusive education. Your belief in every child’s right to learn and thrive knows no bounds. Thank you for recognizing the potential within each child and for fostering a culture of acceptance and understanding in our schools.

Parents of Peers

To the compassionate parents who extend open arms and warm invitations to our children. Your kindness and inclusivity do not go unnoticed. From birthday parties to casual hangouts, you have created cherished memories and fostered genuine friendships. Your acceptance and willingness to embrace diversity exemplify the true spirit of community, and for that, we are profoundly grateful. 

Grandparents & Family Members

down syndrome
Photo credit: Trisha Stibbe

To the resilient grandparents and family members who stand by our sides through every twist and turn. Your unwavering support is a beacon of strength in our lives. Amidst the whirlwind of doctor appointments, therapy sessions, and daily challenges, your love and willingness to lend a helping hand never falter. Your presence and dedication make the journey a little lighter and the load a little easier to bear. Thank you for being our steadfast allies and pillars of support.


To the compassionate therapists who work tirelessly to support our children’s development and well-being. Your expertise and dedication are truly invaluable. Whether it’s speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy, your unwavering commitment to helping our children reach their fullest potential inspires hope and resilience. Thank you for your patience, your guidance, and your unwavering belief in our children’s abilities. 

Doctors & Nurses

To the compassionate doctors and nurses who provide medical care and support to our children with Down syndrome. Your expertise and compassion are a source of comfort and reassurance during challenging times. From routine check-ups to complex interventions, your dedication to the health of our children does not go unnoticed. Thank you for your tireless efforts, your empathy, and your commitment to providing the highest quality care.

Advocates and Community Organizations

To the advocates and community organizations who tirelessly work to raise awareness, promote inclusion, and advocate for the rights of individuals with Down syndrome. Your passion and dedication are driving forces of positive change. Your advocacy not only empowers individuals with Down syndrome, but also fosters a more inclusive society for all. Thank you for your relentless advocacy and for amplifying the voices of those who too often go unheard.

Friends & Chosen “Families”

To our chosen families—those individuals who may not be bound by blood but are bound by understanding and unwavering support. We are endlessly grateful for your unconditional love, acceptance, and solidarity. Whether you’re a friend, a mentor, or a kindred spirit who walks alongside us on this journey, your presence enriches our lives in ways words cannot express. Thank you for being our chosen family and for reminding us that love knows no boundaries.

Photo credit: Trisha Stibbe

Our Schools

Down Syndrome
Photo credit: Trisha Stibbe

A heartfelt thank you to our schools, particularly our public schools, for their commitment to providing inclusive education opportunities. Public schools play a pivotal role in fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance for children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Through their dedication to creating inclusive environments, they not only educate but also nurture understanding, empathy, and respect among students. Thank you for leading by example and championing the rights of all students to learn, grow, and thrive together.

You are Not Alone

To those families who may not have the same level of support, you are not alone. If you are navigating this journey without the same network of advocates, I see you and I am here to offer my support and encouragement. You are not defined by the challenges you face, and your journey is valid. Together, let us work towards a future where every individual receives the love, acceptance, and support they deserve.

While I hope that every day celebrates the beauty of diversity and the power of inclusion, World Down Syndrome Day gives me pause for the gratitude I have for the world my daughter will grow up in. Together, we are creating a world where every individual, regardless of ability, is valued, respected, and given the opportunity to shine bright.

Thank you to all who make this vision a reality.

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Trisha Stibbe
Trisha was born and raised in Fargo. After marrying her high school sweetheart they moved to Omaha, NE where they spent the next decade. Finally back in their hometown, Trisha and her husband Adam are raising four kids with big personalities. Twins Sam and Jack were born in 2010 at 28 weeks, thrusting Trisha and her husband into the world of special needs parenting. A few years later, in 2012, Adam and Trisha welcomed son Eli. Not content with stopping when things seemed easy, they welcomed daughter Claire into their family in 2015. Claire was a surprise for many reasons, but the biggest of all came at her birth when they were told she had Down Syndrome and a heart defect. Trisha is fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home-mom, and spends most of her “free time” advocating for special needs and inclusion, going to various and plentiful doctors appointments, volunteering for BIO Girls, and meeting her caffeine limit by about 9:00 a.m. every day. She deals with her crazy life best with sarcasm and has found a creative outlet through her blog. You can follow her on Instagram.


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