By James McFadden, founder of Southern Utah Down Syndrome Association & the force behind Down Syndrome Today magazine
What good would a (highly professional looking magazine full of current information, research, and stories related to Down syndrome with a variety of contributors all coming together creating a unified voice intended to break down barriers, change hearts, and promote further research) magazine sitting in a doctor’s office do?
We have all heard and read the articles and reports indicating 67 to 85% of parents who receive a diagnosis that their child may be born with Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy with estimates running as high as 92% in some studies abroad.
Have you ever wanted to have a long discussion with one or more of the thousands of family doctors, pediatricians, OB/GYN’s, etc. and convince them that there are just as many positive things to consider and somehow influence their opinions and understanding?
Face it; most doctors are more concerned with covering their proverbial "bottom" line. If they don’t tell you everything horrible that could possibly go wrong or happen, you might come back and sue them for not educating you to the fullest extent. Knowing this, how can we then ensure those potential parents hear a voice of support that could help them make a more balanced choice?
I read dozens of articles every day that have current, relevant, uplifting and inspiring information. I also read some that prick my heart, make me angry or cause me to shake my head in disbelief (that an industry that promotes itself as highly intelligent can have such a limited point of view).
However, that’s me... as you know; most doctors rarely ever seek information like this out.
I recently polled 10 doctors in Southern Utah and asked the following two questions. “If you were receiving a professional quality relevant magazine with current information focused on Down syndrome, would you read it?” and “If you had a patient who was pregnant and you believed they might be carrying a child with Down syndrome would you share it with them?” They all said yes, all of them. Four were emphatic, three sounded pleasantly intrigued, and I think the other three just wanted to get back to their naps, but they did say yes...
In all my thirteen years of raising my children (or them raising me), I have never read anything that caused me to wish my son Jonathan was any different than he is today. Down syndrome is just as much who he is as my crooked smile, hairy back, and strange looking toes are me.
Now I realize it sounds very foreign to someone who has never known a person with Down syndrome and even to some within our community but it is what it is and that’s how I feel. Now... this is not to say I don’t want to provide him with every possible opportunity, valid treatment or therapy available. But from where I sit, he’s the most honest, funniest child I have and he forgives me and his siblings faster than anyone I know. Heck, if I’m out of line and being unreasonable he also gets on my case and tells me to chill out and go for a walk if that’s what I need… and he has mastered the art of graciousness.
The bottom line is this. Magazines are just about the only form of print media that is not only thriving but growing.
Readers Digest prints 17 million
Better Homes and Gardens prints 7.6 million per month
Good Housekeeping prints 4.3 million
Ladies Home Journal prints 3.2 million
Oprah’s O prints 2.5 million
This is why we would like to see about 1200 issues going to each state with at least 2/3 of them reaching doctor’s offices, service providers, and community leaders.
Will you help us reach this goal?
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
1. Please consider subscribing or contributing just $2 today at http://www.indiegogo.com/DownSyndromeToday
2. Get at least 10 friends to follow your example and do the same.
3. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @ twitter.com/DownSyndromeTdy
4. Retweet as many of our tweets as possible!
5. “Like” us on Facebook – facebook.com/DownSyndromeToday.org
6. Send us (Material to Tweet) a page filled with links to your website or blog like this:
- Title of page or article “Down Syndrome: A New Parent Guide”
- Website address http://noahsdad.com/new-parent-guide/
- eMail link-sheets to James.McFadden@sudsa.org
7. Talk to James on Skype – james.mcfadden.2012
8. Watch on UStream http://www.ustream.tv/channel/downsyndrometoday
9. Join us on Google+ plus.google.com/DownSyndromeToday
10. Connect through Linked[in] linkedin.com/jamesmichaelmcfadden
1. Spread the word and share this campaign through Social Media and/or on your Blog!
Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action has supported the efforts of James McFadden by offering our outreach through media sources.