Hope’s Story

This little gem is Hope Elizabeth Adele, and she is the love of our lives!
Hope was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when I was 12 weeks pregnant. I was terrified, but already loved that little life so much.

After a horrible visit to the Geneticist, I left and instantly knew her name would be Hope. Hope is what the world needs, hope is what our family needs, and most definitely what I needed.

During my 20-week scan, it was noted that she may have issues with her heart and that she had hydrops. So off to the High Risk clinic we travelled, even more terrified.

After 8 weeks, all the fluid in her tummy was gone and as far as they could tell, her heart looked great! She was already a strong, brave warrior.

I was so thankful I had my pregnancy to deal with the emotions that come with a diagnosis, because by the time I went into labour I was completely ready to love her for who she was, and who she would grow to become. Hope was born on February 14th at 37 weeks and instantly became the pride and joy of our family. I looked into her gorgeous almond shaped eyes and fell madly in love. Hope is all things good in this world.

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Hailey’s Story

Hey everyone, my name is Kristin. I am 25 and from Deseronto, Ontario.

Welcome to our journey;

My boyfriend (Derek) and I were both 22 when we began ttc. Due to medical problems I was told if I ever was to conceive on my own, it would be a miracle. Little did I know at the time how much those words would mean to us in our future.

Eleven long months had passed, we were one month away from being given the okay to see a fertility specialist when it happened, our “miracle”.

At the time, my boyfriend and I both worked night shifts, I rushed home to take that test, expecting the worst but praying for the best. Immediately, two pink lines! I sat there just staring and rubbing my eyes thinking my head was playing tricks on me from being so tired, but sure enough, 2 more tests later, reality set in and we were over the moon!

I couldn’t sleep until I had spoke to my family doctor and they set up my blood work.

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Adelle’s Story

WHAT A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE RECEIVEING A PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS OF DOWN SYNDROME LOOKS LIKE: HOW TO FRAME THE MESSAGE

In the beginning, there were only pieces of understanding, and we had yet to put together the puzzle to see the bigger picture. It began with an unexpected call from our midwife. An affront. A soft marker announcing the possibility of Down syndrome – Down syndrome? Uncertainty, shock, doubt, fleeting moments of glass because – what a caring and compassionate big sister our first-born would become! Sadness and fear – fear? Of what? Or of whom? I later ask myself. Of the unknown. Fragments of worry stab at my chest every day we do not know. Waiting. Until we know for sure, we don’t know. The circularity of this thought is, by definition, insanity. A blood test, a repeat ultrasound. We still don’t know, more waiting. A scheduled appointment at the Genetics Clinic in the hospital to discuss the results. In person. This is a life we are talking about. The baby’s and ours.

A genetic counsellor leads us into a sterile room. It’s been two weeks, and we still don’t know. She fumbles, “the ultrasound images look good to me, from what I can see,” she leans in conspiratorially, “nothing here suggests Down syndrome.” She doesn’t know. Anything

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Local mom behind push for Down syndrome legislation

Sarah Valiquette-Thompson and her husband, Ian, like all parents, relish the opportunity to celebrate their toddler’s milestones and, many times each day, cherish the love and joy he has brought to their family.

“Harvey just blows me away,” says Valiquette-Thompson. “He is sitting up now, he loves to throw a ball … his sister, Hayley, just lights up when she sees him. We are so grateful.”

Harvey, who recently turned a year old, was born with Down syndrome. But the oft-smiling toddler is not defined by that extra chromosome; he’s just a happy baby boy, says his mom with a smile.

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World Down Syndrome Day has special meaning for Orillia family

When Sarah Valiquette-Thompson looks at her bright-eyed son, she doesn’t see a child with Down syndrome.

“He’s just Harvey,” she says with a smile. “He’s his own person. He’s a beautiful, healthy little baby. Yes, he has an extra chromosome, but he’s just Harvey.”

That is the message the Orillia city councillor and her family want to share today on World Down Syndrome Day.

“This is a huge day for our community and the message we want to send is around inclusion, acceptance – that all people are beautiful,” she says. “It’s important to kind of retract that judgment, to detach that label, to recognize everyone is unique and embrace everybody.”

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With Down syndrome, there’s ‘S’more to love,’ say parents

Local parents are using a sweet and unique way to raise awareness about World Down Syndrome Day.

Ian Thompson and his wife, Sarah Valiquette-Thompson, became strong advocates of Down syndrome after their son, Harvey, was diagnosed with the condition prenatally.

There are an estimated 45,000 Canadians with Down syndrome, according to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. It may be detected through prenatal testing or after birth through a blood test.

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Canadian Association for Community Living

Looking for stories of prenatal diagnosis in Ontario! Sarah Valiquette-Thompson created Perfectly Me – Down syndrome advocates and legislation seekers after a negative prenatal experience following a diagnosis of Down syndrome for her son. Members of Perfectly Me are on a journey to create legislation in Ontario to remove the stigma that children with disabilities are a burden pre-birth. As part of their advocacy efforts, Sarah and her team are looking for stories from families about their prenatal diagnosis. Connect with their efforts via the linked Facebook page to share your family’s story.

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