October ~ Down Syndrome Awareness Month
My name is Kimberly Myers. I have three (3!) Seniors in high school this year. It is a busy time! Two of my seniors are identical twin girls. Molly is very quiet and shy. Megan is very outgoing and talks to everyone. My son Jake is actually 18 months younger than the twins and is 6’2.5. He is the most wonderful brother that we could ever imagine having.
My girls were born on August 25th, 1996. At that time they were the 13th set of identical twins in the USA with Down Syndrome. It is very rare! The 29th set was born 3 years ago in the same hospital which is extremely rare to have two sets in the same city. After birth, the initial diagnosis of Down Syndrome is often based on the baby’s facial appearance, as well as a gap between the big toe and the second toe, if not diagnosed in-vitro by a blood test, and also a blood test after the birth.
Molly had jaundice and we stayed in the hospital for one week only because of the jaundice. No one noticed that my twins had Down syndrome in that entire week of being in the regular nursery at St. John Hospital in Tulsa Oklahoma. They were super small. Molly weighed 4 lbs 6 ounces and Megan weighed 4 lbs 12 ounces. They looked like aliens in the nursery.
I was a stay-at-home mother and also a member of the Mother’s of Multiples of Tulsa. One month a speaker from Sooner Start came to speak and she said that if our babies were 6-months-old and not rolling over, she would like to speak privately with us. I waited to speak to her after the meeting and she placed me on her schedule to visit. I took the girls for their 6-month checkup a week after that meeting. The doctor said he suspected Down Syndrome and wanted to do a blood test. When he left the room, I looked in our file only to discover that he had suspected Down Syndrome at 3 months but had written he didn’t want to disrupt the lives of this family! WHHAAATTT!!! I was amazed. My husband and I waited patiently for 7-8 days for the test results. OF COURSE, the tests came back positive!
I sobbed for those days awaiting the results of the tests. I was ready to take it on. Jack, their father, researched and found a vitamin therapy. We have never looked back. I have taken every moment of being their mother very seriously. There was no time to waste. I had to help my babies become the best they could be.
We are now in the last year of high school and ready for the next big adventure of life….independence! I have hopes and dreams of building a place where several people with Down Syndrome will live and have a life of independence.
We all desire INDEPENDENCE, do we not?
EDITOR’S NOTE from iSissy 3 Karen: I met Kimberly for the first time in 2000 when the girls were four-years old and Jake was two! I saw Kimberly’s spirit of determination and her spirit of love and devotion for her family. When Kimberly says, “I had to help my babies become the best they could be,” that she did! “Kimberly Myers, iSissies salute you! You are fearless! We love you and the dear family that you have nurtured through sacrifice, love, tears and laughter!!!”
Here’s a cherry on top – they are going on a “Buddy Cruise”!
Buddy Cruise Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit founded in 2008 by 2 siblings in honor of their brother who has Down syndrome. One of the programs they offer is a yearly conference on-board a cruise ship where they provide resources that are not only beneficial for families touched by Down syndrome but other special needs as well.
iSissies, If you would like to know more about Downs or have a special need, we can help you network with others.