Tuesday, October 25, 2016
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Just like the oldest country kid, Blake isn't your "typical" kids. And while our oldest country kid was born on the spectrum and Blake is rocking an extra chromosome, they both LOVE their chickens. Just because children may seem different to others, they are just like any other kid, really. And their love of life (and chickens) make them amazing to know.
Since October is Down Syndrome Awareness month, I wanted you to have the chance to learn a little more about Down Syndrome and have the chance to "meet" Blake. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs in 1 in every 792 live births. Individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. Down Syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socioeconomic status. When I asked Blake's mom about what she wanted folks to know about Down Syndrome she said "The most important fact to know about individuals with Down syndrome is that they are more like others than they are different." Like their love of chickens!
So who is Blake? He is an adorable 6 years old, who is in kindergarten, loves playing with his friends, playing baseball and learning to ski. Blake loves animals especially his dogs Yogi and Star. He is a pretty typical boy, but he happens to be rocking and extra chromosome. Blake has never let Down Syndrome stop him from living life to the fullest!
So how did Blake develop a love for chickens? Well his Kindergarten class hatched eggs this past spring and Blake fell in love. He was so excited when he got to bring some of those chicks home to be his own. Unfortunately, four of the seven chickens turned out to be roos and had to be rehomed. But that left Blake with three beautiful girls to watch grow up.
Blake's mom said "We love our 3 little hens and have loved watching them grow. Blake loves visiting them and helping me check for eggs. We thought all of our girls would lay white eggs so imagine our surprise when our very first egg was a tiny beautiful blue egg. Blake was so excited to see it!!"
Blake's mom said "One of the best things about getting a blue egg is that it was a complete surprise, just like Blake's surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome at his birth. Some of the best gifts in life are complete surprises. The blue egg is significant because blue is one of the colors of Down syndrome awareness."
If you want to keep up with Blake, his chickens, and some other amazing kids who are rockin an extra chromosome, check out his Facebook page Blake's Buddies!