I used to always believe that the March of Dimes was a wonderful organization that made huge advances in helping prevent infant loss and treat preterm babies. I whole-heartedly supported them and added my change to collection jars.
A couple of years ago, some one pointed out this statement to me.
Is the March of Dimes conducting research on Down syndrome?
Some March of Dimes grantees are investigating why errors in chromosome division occur, in the hope of someday preventing Down syndrome and other birth defects caused by abnormalities in the number or structure of chromosomes. Other grantees are investigating the role of specific genes in causing the brain abnormalities associated with Down syndrome, with the goal of treating the mental retardation associated with the disorder. An international team of scientists has mapped all the genes of chromosome 21. This information eventually may pave the way for treatment of many features of this disorder.
"Hope of someday preventing Down syndrome."
That statement causes me to stop and ponder. Is this the research funding I want to support? An organization that thinks the best way to help those with Down syndrome is to make sure they don't exist? I'm not comfortable with that. I accept my child for who he is and Down syndrome is part of who he is. I do not wish that people with Down syndrome did not exist. Do I wish his life was easier sometimes? Sure, I wish every one's life was easier at times.
I also wish the March of Dimes would fund research that improves the life of those with Down syndrome by addressing issues they face not by addressing why they are created.
I wish I could support the March of Dimes for the good that they do in other areas, but I just can't. I don't want to see that $2 paper shoe that reads "Donated in honor of Sean Minner" to be used to make sure that others are not born like him.