In 2017, I found myself pregnant for the first time. After 3 months, we did a test and found out that the baby has a high chance of having Trisonomy 21 or Down syndrome. My doctor said that there was a 25% likelihood that my child will be born with a disability.
Overwhelmed with sadness and confusion (as I didn’t know any better), we questioned why it had to happen to me and my husband, Mark. Despite the many questions (and wrong perception) of having a child with Down syndrome, we proceeded with the pregnancy because we loved our child so much, there was no other choice but to proceed.
Marian is a true gift from God because she was born on Christmas Day, 25 Dec 2017, 3 days past my due date. We welcomed Marian into the world via emergency c-section and as soon as I saw her come out of my tummy, I knew she was special with an extra chromosome.
In the next two years, we spent numerous hours of therapy and follow up at home to ensure that she reached her milestones in her early years. Having to balance work and family life were extremely challenging.
Then Covid-19 came. 2020 was tough for most, but it was one of my best years because of two things: I got to spend time with Marian and I found 21 Extra Goodness – my true calling in life. 21 Extra Goodness was created to tide over the family during hard times, serve home-cooked dishes to the local community and most importantly, to create awareness on inclusion, early intervention and fair employment.
Why 21 Extra Goodness? Because Marian is diagnosed with Trisonomy 21, a medical condition otherwise called as Down syndrome. This occurrence happens when a pair of the chromosome has an extra one placed on the 21st pair – thus the name.
And for me, my family and those who know Marian well, they will agree that Marian is indeed a blessing.