National Down Syndrome Month - Celebrate the UPside of Down™!National Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2012 has passed. However, still Celebrate the UPside of Down™!

This is it. The Month when the nation celebrates the awesomeness that a child with Down syndrome represents. It is time to break the stereotypes and dispel the myths. This month we have a celebration planned here on, so check below for all the details! We want to show the world the UPside of Down!

The UPside of Down Celebration Video

Down Syndrome Month Celebration PLANS

National Down Syndrome Month - Celebrate the UPside of Down™!We have a lot happening this month:

We gave our website a facelift to make it easier to read and more enjoyable to look at, and we added this Down Syndrome Celebration page.

We launched a brand new Online Store with a whole bunch of new and great Down Syndrome Awareness products!

We launched a PHOTO CONTEST! After nearly four weeks we have received over 300 awesome images. (Contest ended Friday November 16th at 11:59pm). We have posted several of these photos on Facebook, and so far we have placed around 280 of these UPside of Down syndrome photos into our Photo Contest GALLERY. Take a look, but be prepared to smile at all these wonderful images showcasing the UPside of Down!

Then we set up a SWEEPSTAKES! Previous to November 16th you could have entered for free for your chance to win lots of great Down syndrome awareness items by Dr. Julia Kinder! This Sweepstakes is aimed at drawing attention to dispelling the myths that surround Down syndrome. (Sweepstakes ended Friday November 16th at 11:59pm.)

Finally, to help make a REAL DIFFERENCE, we set up a PETITION. We need you to sign it! This petition is aimed at the medical community and requests more training on Down Syndrome for medical students and medical staff. As we know best, having a child with Down syndrome is often a very frightening experience, but it doesn't need to be this way. Things can change if we pull together and tell the medical community the time has come. Would you please join us by signing this PETITION and asking your friends and family to do the same? [Please note that the Petition is on-going and we still need more signatures!]

We then published a national Press Release drawing attention to all of these activities. Read Dr. Kinder's Press Release announcing the Petition and the Celebration! (click here) Plus we have been working tirelessly to get other Down Syndrome Bloggers to promote the Petition to their readers, as only with a large group effort can we hope to push for changes that are so needed.

Dr. Kinder's Story

When Julia Kinder's daughter Ella was born, it felt like someone died. Family gathered outside the hospital room, and spoke in whispers. Everyone cried. The hospital staff avoided Kinder and her husband, Mitch, left their meals at the door.

A pediatrician they had never met came to their room the morning after Ella’s birth and said, "There’s no easy way to tell you this, but your daughter has Down syndrome."

There’s no easy way to hear it, either. No parent should ever feel like their baby's life starts out with a death; the death of their dreams for the future, the end of their hope for a happy, healthy child. But it happens every day, because parents don't have immediate access to the help or reassurance they need to overcome the myths and misconceptions surrounding Down syndrome in our society.

To read more about Dr. Julia Kinder and her journey from physician to mom blogger to advocate to national speaker, click here.