Thank you for supporting the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association (MVDSA)! There are many ways to support the MVDSA and make a difference in the lives of people with Down syndrome. We invite you browse the options to find what works for you. We also invite you to learn about why your gift is important to the families we serve:
“I wanted to take a moment to explain what supporting local Down syndrome organizations means to these individuals and their families – specifically what it meant to our family two years ago when we got Reeve’s diagnosis.
For every 800 babies who are born, approximately one family will have a surprise called Down syndrome. Some may find out ahead of time, and some may come to realize it when they see their sweet baby open their unique, almond-shaped eyes for the first time.In our case, while our doctor did a splendid job of professionally and respectfully delivering the unexpected news to us, it was still extremely difficult to process. We were given a few brochures about Down syndrome and a report about our baby stating, “The most common manifestations of Down syndrome include mental retardation, cardiac anomalies, relatively small stature, neonatal hypotonia and characteristic facies. Infants with heart defects have a high mortality risk…” Needless to say, even before gender, this was the first thing that we learned about our baby, and it was heart-breaking.
Thankfully, one of the brochures that we were given was to our local Down syndrome organization – the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association (MVDSA). I hesitantly called them to introduce myself – mostly overcome with grief, as this was not a club that I had ever dreamed of joining. But their response to my sheepish inquiry was nothing short of the most beautiful, encouraging, and hope-filled welcome that I had ever received. Prior to joining the MVDSA, I had never met a person with Down syndrome.
It took this club, this group of families, these individuals - to help us put Reeve’s diagnosis into context. We did not meet sad families commiserating over their loved ones difficult and challenging lives. We met families full of energy, love, hope, and pride. We met beautiful, remarkable kids with unique personalities, award-winning smiles, and bright futures.
Not only do local organization provide support, services, and opportunities to individuals with Down syndrome (including special athletic activities, dance classes, therapies, playdates, and up-to-date information about Down syndrome research and legislation), they also provide a valuable service to the communities that they serve by showing that individuals with Down syndrome can AND DO lead full and worthwhile lives.
Over the past two years, this organization that I once feared joining has become a second family to us. At some point, what we originally perceived to be our baby’s “disability” has become a beloved part of our family's identity." - The Anderson Family