FamilyLife National News

October is Down’s Syndrome Awareness month

Local Andover Mum , Donna Jackson has told us all about  the #wouldntchangeathing project.

October is Down’s Syndrome Awareness month and the #wouldntchangeathing hashtag is destined to be all over our screens again!

The hashtag was popularised back in March by the viral video 50 Mums | 50 Kids | 1 Extra Chromosome – now regarded to be one of the most popular viral videos in history.

“50 Mums” (as it’s now affectionately known in the Down’s Syndrome community) racked up over 230 million views on social media channels and was headline news in over 30 countries. It depicted 50 Mums with their children, all of whom have Down’s Syndrome, having fun singing and signing along to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” in their cars.

The initiative sparked schools across the nation to learn to sign, a government petition to introduce signing in schools and was even shown at the Queen’s Birthday celebrations in Abu Dhabi.

A star studded group waded-in with their support including Christina Perri herself and Carpool Karaoke King James Corden who Tweeted that it made him cry!

Most importantly, 50 Mums gave birth to the charitable organisation Wouldn’t Change a Thing (#wcat if you’re in the know!). The organisation’s stated aim is “To create a world where negative, outdated perceptions of Down’s Syndrome become a thing of the past.”

Wouldn’t Change a Thing are doubling down on their positive message with this follow-up video to be released on the 1st of October. It aims to show the joy that children with Down’s Syndrome bring to family life on a backdrop of ever-increasing screening and termination for the condition.

Jamie McCallum, Chairman of Wouldn’t Change a Thing said: “The lives of people with Down’s Syndrome have changed immeasurably over the last few decades, but society’s perceptions have failed to keep up. Living happy, independent, working lives can be a reality now and research proves that families are happier for having the condition in their lives. But if no-one tackles society’s outdated perceptions of Down’s Syndrome then less families, schools and workplaces will experience the wonderful value that it can bring. So that’s what we’re trying to show the world – one set of eyeballs at a time!”

Be sure to get your tissues ready and keep an eye on Wouldn’t Change a Thing’s various social media channels for the launch in October.