Let my love open the door…

I have a post all about our experience with Zack’s surgery (he’s doing well, thank you!) and the hospital adventure from this week, but after seeing the final product of something Scott and I have been working on today, I just couldn’t postpone sharing it any longer.

This is an incredibly exciting week for our family. Wednesday is World Down Syndrome Day and we have a few special surprises planned in celebration of this day of awareness and education.

Surprise Number One: Zack’s story is going to be featured on the local TV station Tuesday and Wednesday. The first airing will be either during the 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock news Tuesday on WTAJ (the CBS affiliate out of Altoona) and will consist of pre-recorded information from a taping at our house a week or so ago. The second airing will take place on the same station during the Central PA Live show (4 o’clock show) on Wednesday, along with a live interview. My friend Angie is to thank for this experience — she works at the station, which is a great “in”, but more importantly, as the Mommy of Zack’s Birthday Buddy Chase, I think she understands how important it is to our family to spread awareness of Down Syndrome to as many people as possible.

So set your DVRs and pray my nerves stay intact for just another couple of days. The stations’ website can be seen here.

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Zack and I will be attending the local Down Syndrome support group meeting this Monday night, too (along with our dear friends Julie and Zack’s future prom date Miss Olivia, who have supported us through so, so much). I am really looking forward to seeing some we-get-it friends after a bit of a hiatus since our last meeting attendance (due mostly to my work schedule). This is a big week for all of our families and I’m anxious to see where the future of the group lies.

Perhaps our most exciting news comes from a desire to push it a bit further, really make sure we did all we could to make a difference. We have once again created a donation opportunity to the National Down Syndrome Society in Zack’s name to continue research that will make a positive, incredible difference in our son’s future — and the lives of the hundreds of thousands of others who turn around every negative myth about DS with every heart-stopping smile and told-you-so accomplishment.

(You can find our donation page here, and I’ll be creating a link on the side of our blog’s home page, too). We have set a pretty hefty goal of $5,000, with a deadline of Little Sister’s Birth Day, sometime in mid-May. The funds we raise through your love of Zack will really and truly make a difference; I’m still amazed at all of the things that NDSS is able to accomplish and offer. And I can’t say enough about the support and comfort they’ve brought our family.

So, to jumpstart our donation appeal, I came up with an idea and my handsome hubby executed it even better than I had imagined. It’s a collection of our most private, personal and beautiful family moments these past 19 months, starting with a completed nursery and running through therapy visits, playmates, puppy and kitty time, family lovins, all the way to our first crawl, first standing, first steps and even our recent hospital stay.

It’s four minutes that show that the journey we’ve been placed on isn’t one we were expecting, nor one we had planned for; but it’s a journey that has brought us so much happiness and taught us so very, very much… about love, about success, about the glue that holds us each together.

It’s Z-Man, plain and simple — all his smiles, all his drool, all his happiness that he has shared with us; it’s all of the things he’s taught us that we can only share with others.

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I hope you will spread the word this week about our support group, about our news stories, about our video and our donation page; most important of all, I urge you to continue to spread what you’ve learned from us about Down Syndrome to your loved ones. We can make a difference.

Let Zack’s love open the door…

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