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Monday, February 07, 2011

Plus15 = Positive Research

My previous post was about more money being spent on research to detect Down syndrome earlier in pregnancies. It referenced the article New Down Syndrome Test Could Cut Healthy Baby Deaths. The title of that article still bothers me. It implies that babies with Down syndrome are unhealthy. Not all babies with Down syndrome are born with medical complications. Kayla didn't have any complications that required a NICU stay or surgery. She was slow to nurse and slow to gain weight so we stayed one extra day in the hospital. But even if a baby with Down syndrome is born with medical complications, or 'unhealthy' that shouldn't equal a death sentence.

Anyway. On to some positive news about where some research dollars are going.

I would prefer my dollars to go to research that helps those living with Down syndrome. That's something I can get behind. Research improving the lives of those with Down syndrome.

Plus15 is a campaign of the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation, which is dedicated to  improving the cognitive abilities (including learning, memory and speech) for individuals with Down syndrome, by 15%.

Plus15 is about increasing abilities and opening doors for people living with Down syndrome. Plus15 could make a big difference in allowing people with Down syndrome to live their longer lives more independently, and with more opportunities.

Plus15 was launched because "we believe that individuals with Down syndrome deserve to have advances in their cognitive abilities to keep pace with the medical heath improvements that have lengthened their lives."

Now that's promising. That's something I can get behind. That is somewhere I want my dollars to go. To research and improving the lives of those with Down syndrome.

Plus 15 from WebEnertia on Vimeo.

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Erin said...

This research is so exciting, I can't wait to hear more on their progress!

Lacey said...

Thats why I hate that they refer to DS as mental retardation. From what I've seen, and its also true with "typical" kids. Kids with more medical problems are going to be delayed more. If they've stopped breathing or had major respiratory distress, they are going to have some damage to the brain. Arina is as smart as any child her age!

Astra Kruger said...

I just found your blog and I am so happy!! I cannot agree with you more and thank you for your real and honest opinion! 90% of pregnancies that are terminated is one horrible number! I have a girl with those beautiful blue almond eyes and I cannot imagine how someone could choose not to have these amazing children! It brakes my heart! I come from Lithuania - it is even worse there - only about 30 children with Down Syndrome are born there each year! 30 in the whole country! I am definitely for more research, but for the one that would help our beautiful babies and definitely for education what Down Syndrome is. Thank you again!

Molly said...

Hi Michelle,
Thank you so much for your blog post. You have a great blog, and beautiful pictures of your children. It is thanks to people like you that the plus15 campaign has been a success thus far, we rely on parents like you who want to raise awareness for Down syndrome research. We appreciate all that you do for the Ds community, and thank you for sharing about plus15.
Molly, a plus15 team member

Amanda said...

HI Michelle,

I'm one of the Plus15 team members and just wanted you and your community to know that we are having another webinar on Tuesday, February 22 at 10:00 am PT/1:00 p.m. ET! We're super excited to share recent developments in cognition research for Down syndrome. Folks can register at https://plus15.webex.com/

Thanks for your support, hope you can make it!


Anonymous said...


I can personally say that there are still so many doctors out there that underestimate children with Down Syndrome. More money needs to be going to educating the public, especially the providers that will be seeing these children/adults. If a mother finds that her child is growing inside her but the development of an arm is problematic aborting due to this is hardly though of.

My son, did have the medical problems that people talk about. He had heart surgery at 3 months old and we spend 40 days recovering at Children's hospital. While this was not fun, it is a problem that happens to all kinds of children. If he was born without Down Syndrome, that is no guarantee that his heart would have been fine. Also he can have major behavioral problems, but then so can my other son. Its called childhood, I don't think that many people understand this.

I believe that the biggest problem out there is that people are afraid of what they don't know. So thank you for doing your part to help educate people and spread the word that our children with Down Syndrome are just like any other kid.