Running for Down Syndrome Awareness

On March 17th, I ran in a half-marathon bringing attention to Down Syndrome. Also known as Trisomy 21, this condition is not a disease, but rather, a chromosomal addition. A down syndrome person has an additional 21st chromosome giving them 47 chromosomes instead of 46. In case you are wondering why I am writing about this, March 21st was Down Syndrome Awareness Day and I wrote this article on that day.

I had an aunt who had Down Syndrome. When I was growing up, I didn’t even know what that was. I only knew that Aunt Ora Mae was different, child-like, loving, kind, beautiful in her own way. She read the Bible – A LOT. She always had it open on her bed when I went into her room. She was comforted by doing that. There is much we can learn from a person with Down Syndrome. First, they love unconditionally. I never doubted whether my aunt loved me even though sometimes I would upset her. She was always excited to see me and accepted me. She loved me, period. Second, they teach us to love unconditionally. My aunt had no real talents, skills, or usable abilities that would gain noteworthy attention. This is how Jesus wants us to love others, not for what they can do for us, but to love people simply because they are people (Matthew 22:39). Third, her faith was child-like. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). If we want to go to heaven, our faith needs to become more like hers. She completely trusted in God, Jesus, and His word.

God bless you, and I love you.

Kevin Cauley