I’ve written previously about what I termed “Bizarro World” – all of the little things that make our life with two kids who have special needs different from that of most other families. Well, today I was hit square in the face with another Bizarro World reality.
Most people are aware of many of the common characteristics and risks associated with Down syndrome – round faces, flat noses, heart disease, intellectual disabilities, etc. Some of the less well-known complications, though, include being more susceptible to infectious diseases, dementia, hypothyroidism, and leukemia.
Yes, leukemia. The risk of leukemia in children with Down syndrome is 18 times that of the general population. Although I’ve known this fact since Nathan was born, I have been able to mostly put it out of my mind. We dodged the heart and GI bullets at birth and he’s been meeting his developmental milestones, so we’re good. There’s no way to predict what his intellectual abilities will be, so we can’t worry about that right now. Life is good.
I love to read and it’s often much easier to sit down and read a quick blog post or two during my brief snippets of time than to try to start and stop a book. I follow quite a few blogs that deal with a variety of subjects that interest me, and some of them are written by parents of children with Down syndrome. I opened one of those blogs today and saw that Lauren of Our Typical Life went to the doctor today, and he suspects leukemia. Lauren will be three in December. The results of Lauren’s blood test should be back tomorrow.
I’ve never met Lauren, and I don’t really know that much about the family other than what has been posted on the blog. The sheer enormity and unfair-ness of it all hit me when I saw that post today, though. Any child can be diagnosed with leukemia, but my boy is at a much greater risk than other kids, and it just isn’t fair. It’s one more example of Bizarro World – the things that we think about and fret about that never occur to most people.
If you’re the praying sort, please take a few minutes this evening to say a prayer for Lauren (and the rest of her family). Sarah Kate and I prayed for her together at bedtime. And if you want to follow the family, check out their blog: ourtypicallife.wordpress.com.
|Photo courtesy of Our Typical Life|