Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Your votes added up to 30% and Andrea Roberts begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting has won the PEOPLE Magazine HERO of the Year!

More details and some other things to come... but

Congratulations Andrea and Reece's Rainbow!

Reece's Rainbow: We won!!

Reece's Rainbow: We won!!

Down Syndrome Slide Show

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
In 1950, when Marybeth Solinski was born, a diagnosis of Down syndrome was practically a death sentence.
Children with the condition often died before their 10th birthday.

PHOTOS: Marybeth Solinski turns 59 with Down syndrome
CAREGIVERS: Face new challenges as people with Down syndrome age
Yet Solinski, at 59, has outlived her parents. She has even joined AARP.

Her longevity illustrates the dramatic progress for people with Down syndrome. Thanks to better medical care, the average life expectancy for a child with Down syndrome is now 60 years, according to the National Down Syndrome Society, which estimates that about 400,000 people are living with the condition in the USA.

As they live longer, adults with Down syndrome — who have an extra copy of chromosome 21 — are teaching scientists about the genetic roots of aging, says Ira Lott, head of pediatric neurology at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine.

Scientists today are searching this chromosome, which contains only about 200 of the body's roughly 20,000 genes, to learn why people with Down syndrome suffer disproportionately from some health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, but are spared many others, such as heart attacks, strokes and certain types of cancer.

By studying adults with Down syndrome, researchers hope to find new ways to combat diseases of aging in the larger population as well, Lott says.

"It's an interesting detective story," says Lott, head of the science advisory board of the National Down Syndrome Society. "People with Down syndrome are unique when it comes to many aspects of aging."

Aging troubles start early

People with Down syndrome tend to age prematurely as they develop conditions such as menopause, brittle bones, arthritis, hearing loss, wrinkles and sagging skin about two decades earlier than usual, says Brian Chicoine, medical director of the adult Down syndrome center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., the leading center of its kind.

"People say they seem to age overnight," says Dennis McGuire, director of psychosocial services at the same center. "They suddenly develop wrinkles and gray hair."

Solinski, for example, wears a brace on one leg and hearing aids in both ears, and she has had two corneal transplants. "She's more like a 79-year-old than a 59-year-old," says her sister, Lee Cornell of Illinois.

Yet researchers suspect that this unique genetic profile also protects people with Down syndrome from many common ailments. A growing number of researchers are asking:

•What protects their hearts?

Half of babies with Down syndrome are born with correctable heart defects, and most adults with Down syndrome are overweight with high cholesterol. Despite these risks, however, people with Down syndrome virtually never develop high blood pressure, heart attacks or hardening of the arteries, Lott says. Doctors are still trying to learn why.

•Why don't they get cancer?

Doctors once believed that people with Down syndrome didn't live long enough to develop cancer, says Sandra Ryeom, a researcher at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia

Yet, with the exception of a rare pediatric leukemia, even elderly adults with Down syndrome rarely develop solid tumors, such as those of the breast or lung.

Last May, Ryeom and her colleagues found genes on the 21st chromosome that inhibit the growth of blood vessels necessary for tumor growth. Getting an extra copy of these genes, and possibly others, may help the body keep cancers in check by depriving them of blood, she says.

Researchers already are trying to develop anti-cancer treatments based on genes found on chromosome 21, says Roger Reeves of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

•What protects their eyes?

Although people with Down syndrome are at higher risk for cataracts, they rarely develop a form of blindness called macular degeneration, caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels in the retina, Ryeom says. Doctors suspect that the same genes that restrict blood vessel growth in tumors may also prevent abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye.

A link to Alzheimer's?

•Why do Down syndrome patients develop early Alzheimer's disease?

Adults with Down syndrome appear to develop the brain plaques and tangles characteristic of Alzheimer's disease very early in life — even as young as 3 or 4 years old. For decades, however, their brains also appear to repair and compensate for the damage, says scientist Elizabeth Head of the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

"Their brains may be clearing the plaques," says Head, who is now recruiting Down syndrome patients for a study on biomarkers of Alzheimer's. "As they get older, this protective process slows down."

By age 40 to 45, virtually everyone with Down syndrome has these plaques and tangles, although only 12% have dementia, Lott says. By age 65, up to 75% of people with Down syndrome have dementia.

Significantly, doctors have found a gene that increases the risk of Alzheimer's, called APP, on the 21st chromosome, Lott says. The gene, called amyloid precursor protein, is involved in the creation of the brain plaques seen in Alzheimer's patients. People who inherit mutated copies of these genes may develop Alzheimer's disease decades earlier than usual, says William Mobley, a neuroscience professor at the University of California-San Diego.

Yet not all people with Down syndrome succumb. One of Chicoine's patients lived to 83 without dementia.

Solinski, of Chicago, loves learning so much that she takes flash cards on vacation. She pores over children's encyclopedias and Nancy Drew novels. She is learning to cook, she says, to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who died in August at 92. And, she says, "I want to be a great reader like my father."

And Brooklyn resident Edward Barsky is still healthy and independent at 73, living in a group home and navigating public transportation on his own, says his sister, Vicki Ploscowe.

"He's still going strong," says Ploscowe, of Manhattan.

If researchers could learn what protects certain people, they might be able to develop a therapy to prevent Alzheimer's — both in those with and those without Down syndrome, Head says.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Puppies almost here!

Our mini dachshund is almost ready to give birth! She is getting so fat..She should go this week! Anybody who is interested in a pure bread puppy with papers..please email us..they will be ready for Christmas! A percentage of each puppy will go towards the adoption of a little girl from Eastern Europe!

In new Film, Down syndrome is no obstacle to prayer

In new film, Down syndrome is no obstacle to prayer

By Rebecca Wolfson

article created on:

NEW YORK (JTA)—Lior Liebling davens everywhere: in the backyard, in school and on the swing set.

Some congregants at his Philadelphia synagogue, Mishkan Shalom, call him the “little rebbe.”

“The Zohar tells stories of miracle children who were spiritual geniuses,” one synagogue member said. “Well, that’s what Lior is.”

Lior is the 13-year-old featured in the new documentary “Praying with Lior,” which highlights the bar mitzvah of a Jewish child living with Down syndrome. The character study of this charming boy tells of how Lior’s community successfully integrates him into communal life—a challenge many Jewish communities face with mentally and physically disabled members.

Several Jewish institutions, including the Union for Reform Judaism, run programs to improve service to the Jewish disabled, but experts say most Jewish institutions do not do enough to meet their physical, religious and social needs.

“There are people sitting on the outside who desperately want to come in,” said Shelly Christensen, the co-chairwoman of a Reform task force that creates “inclusion committees” for disabled Jews in synagogues, community centers and other Jewish institutions.

While the Jewish community has made progress in recent years, Christensen said, it still has a long way to go in providing disabled members with places to pray, learn and participate.

Down syndrome is of particular concern to Ashkenazim, who are predisposed to the disease; approximately one in 27 carries the gene for Down syndrome.

In “Praying with Lior,” producer and director Ilana Trachtman follows the teenager from his pre-bar mitzvah haircut to the bimah and beyond, checking back with him two years later.

Though he struggles with baseball and schoolwork, Lior is able to pray with sincerity, a feat encouraged by those close to him.

Like Lior’s Reconstructionist community, the children and teachers at Lior’s Orthodox day school admire and accept him.

“There is no such thing as a disabled soul,” Besie Katz, the principal of that school, the Politz Hebrew Academy, told JTA in an interview.

Katz said the students at Politz accepted Lior because while they understood that he had certain limitations, he also had strengths.

“God makes every person with a different test in this world,” one of Lior’s classmates says in the film. “We don’t know what God’s doing. When God made it that Lior has Down syndrome, it also became a test to us—how we treat Lior, if we do things with Lior.”

Politz was able to accommodate Lior in part because of Orot, a special-education initiative that places children with disabilities in Philadelphia’s Jewish day schools. Orot participants typically begin in a secluded learning environment, and in time they experiment with integrated classrooms.

“It is geared for the children to be successful in the mainstream environment,” Beverly Bernstein, the program’s educational director, told JTA.

Orot is modeled on a program called Keshet started 26 years ago by a group of parents frustrated by the lack of Jewish opportunities for their disabled children.

Now those kids are adults, with some participating in Keshet’s transition program for 18- to 22-year-olds. It sets up participants with jobs if they are able to work, and provides recreational programming for young adults.

Orot and Keshet’s biggest challenge, like many Jewish organizations dedicated to inclusion, is funding, organizers say.

They have been helped somewhat by Americans’ growing awareness of people with disabilities, which in turn has raised the consciousness of the issue in the Jewish community.

Birthright Israel and the National Jewish Council for the Disabled, which is part of the Orthodox Union, run a free trip to Israel for disabled Jews. The council also runs summer and work programs for special-needs children and adults.

In the Reform movement, Christensen’s task force encourages synagogue leaders to include disabled members. About half the synagogues in the Minneapolis area, where Christensen lives, now have inclusion committees, she said.

And Jewish communities in Toronto, Los Angeles, Houston and elsewhere are prioritizing the issue by designating staff members to make their institutions more welcoming for people with special needs.

Rabbi Dan Grossman, who spoke on a panel that followed a screening of the film in January at the New York Jewish Film Festival, said he has worked to make his Reconstructionist synagogue, Adath Israel of Lawrenceville, N.J., welcoming by offering seeing-eye dogs, a wheelchair-accessible bimah and half a dozen reserved wheelchair spots in the pews—and not in the back.

Providing a welcoming physical environment is only half the battle, said Grossman, whose hearing impairment made it a struggle for him to become a rabbi.

“Whoever takes the lead role in the congregation needs to take the position that this is important to the identity of the community,” Grossman said of the need to accommodate special-needs members.

“Moses stuttered, Isaac was blind, David was probably hyperactive,” he pointed out.

While the Jewish community has made progress accommodating special-needs children, as Lior’s community did for his bar mitzvah, Lior’s father, Mordechai Liebling, who is a Reconstructionist rabbi, worries that his son will face a tougher environment as he becomes an adult.

Judaism places a high value on scholarliness and education, Rabbi Liebling said, but it's equally important to value people with other abilities.

“I really have a lot of hope,” he said, “that the community will take responsibility and do the right thing.”

“Praying with Lior,” distributed by First Run Features, opens Friday in New York and nationwide in the spring.


PLEASE COME TO THE FUND RAISERS THAT THIS FAMILY WILL BE HOLDING OR YOU CAN SEND A DONATION IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT..THEIR BLOG ADDRESS IS If their chip in is not set up yet it will be shortly...or a button to click to donate through Reeces Rainbow direct and you will receive a receipt.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To watch videos turn off music playlist bottom right by clicking the sideways = sign

Ukranian Polka Band playing "Hot N Cold"


Our friend Pastor Sasha's church visits this Ukraine

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Congratulations Folio Family!!

Another local family is adopting from Reeces Rainbow! This is so exciting! Your little Maeve is a doll baby!

Why Rescue Orphans?

Because of the overwhelming need and because God directs us to do so in scripture:
There is no greater gift, one that goes 3 ways, than to adopt a child, with or without special needs. You honor God, you are blessed with an angel in your own life, and you change the course of a child's life forever. If you have any doubts about it, please read below:
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, "Give them up!" and to the south, "Do not hold them back." Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth" Isaiah 43:5-6
"A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God sets the lonely in families. (Psalms 68:5-6)
"He defends the cause of the fatherless" (Deuteronomy 10:18)
"In you the fatherless find mercy." (Hosea 14:4)
"You are the helpers of the fatherless." (Psalm 10:14)
"It is not the will of your Father that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:14)
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." (James 1:27)
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Luke 18:16)
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18)
"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." (Matthew 18:5)
"And Jesus took the children in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:16)
"Remember those…who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." (Hebrews 13:3)
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us…let us not love with word or tongue, but with action and in truth." (I John 3:16-18)
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." (Matthew 25:35)
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…defend the rights of the needy." (Proverbs 31:8,9)
"He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me, declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 22:16)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WOW Tori has a huge grant!

Tori (9)

Girl, Born October 14, 2005

CP and Spinal Hernia


This little angel can just light up a room with her smile and her giggle. She is constantly happy, very alert and playful, and is an orphanage favorite. We are waiting for some new photos of her, but she is registered and available to be adopted now! She has had surgery for her spinal hernia (not spina bifida), but it was unsuccessful in her country. She is not able to pull up or stand/walk on her own. We hope she would have much better chances of correction here in the US, but we will not have any x-rays or other records available prior to your trip to share with a doctor for review. She has decompensated hydrocephaly as well.

Children from this orphanage are sent to the institution promptly on their birth date, so we are working hard to prevent that for this little sunshine. She will be bedridden for her short life if she is transferred. Please consider rescuing Miss Tori!

UPDATE: Tori has already been transferred to the institution. It is imperative she be rescued right away.
I have $23,516 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!

Down Syndrome

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanks for stopping by & visiting our blog..

I love seeing all the visitors from around the world!! England, Ireland, Africa, Ukraine, Australia, Netherlands, Canada & all over the USA and many other countries daily!! I wish I could email with everyone who stops at our blog...Feel free to email us at we can be pen pals!

Company "D"

Who are Company d?
Company d, of Memphis Tennessee is a nationally recognized dance company of young adults with Down syndrome, under the artistic direction of Darlene Winters and choreographer. Company d was founded in 2001 and is committed to creating awareness of the talents and gifts of all individuals.
Through weekly class rehearsals and dedicated practices the dancers have now developed into a company that performs to music that represents many forms of dance including jazz, ballet, and modern. Company d members have learned to work as a team and unite into "one movement" through discipline and commitment. It truly is the spirit and belief of everyone involved that members of Company d not only continue to change and grow in their abilities and artistic skills, but their performances shape and grow their audiences from venue to venue.

"If I could tell you what I mean there would be no point in dancing." -Isadora Duncan


Down's syndrome Awareness Montage

Friday, October 15, 2010

For once in his life..He'll know he is so needed and loved by a whole family!

We're coming Marco!

Well we finally got our travel date...We will have Marco home by 1st week of December!
Seems strange but it's really gonna happen!

National Association for Down Syndrome NADS

31 for 21` Challenge

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DOXA2010 Monica And David-Trailer 31 for 21 Ocober 15 th

Anything is possible 31 for 21 challenge

Waiting & preparing...

I am still rearranging the furniture & getting the bedroom ready for Marco...I keep changing it to look better each time..Also passes the time away...
Hoping for a travel date this week..if not it's ok because I really wanted to be home for Halloween with the kids..we have a party with the ESU students on October 30 th.. These kids are from the council for exceptional Children...they take the kids & have so much fun with them while the parents get to relax & watch...Respite care! They love when we come because we can supply a lot of kids for them, and I love it so I can watch & enjoy...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Don't allow the fear of "what if" ruin the joy of "what is". -- Melody Beattie

This just makes advocating for these kids no joke..WOW

I have often thought of adopting Ann Marie and Andrea has even suggested to me to go and get her because it was an easy region...I know we can't save them all but this is heart breaking to many people on our Reeces Rainbow Forum...If you cannot adopt yourself please help a family who is willing by praying for them & making a donation on their family sponsorship page at and click committed families and you can pick which one you feel led to help..The Angel Tree is coming up for Christmas and you can donate as little or as much as you want to...

Sad News From Reeces Rainbow...

All, it is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of our sweetest little Anne Marie :(( Jesus will be her Christmas Warrior this year.

Her grant of $1105 of has been shared now with ALEXANDER in the same orphanage. 4 of the older children with DS have already been transferred to the institution now. I know we can't save them all, but this loss really comes as a blow for me. We have been advocating for Anne Marie for SO long.... ;((((((( Your prayers for ALL of the children as they wait and wait and wait.....

For those of you who have signed up to be Christmas Warriors for these kids....the fundraising goal is only $1000, but we all know it costs a LOT more than that to adopt, and that the more grant money a child has, the greater their chances of being chosen. So although your set goal is only $1000, shoot for the moon. Each child deserves nothing less than your absolute best. We have seen MIRACLES in fundraising these last many months, and this year's Angel Tree will be our biggest and most successful EVER with your help.

God bless each of you, and God bless and hold our baby Anne Marie.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

God doesn't make mistakes Leonor.wmv

Still Waiting....

No date for SDA yet...should be any day...waiting patiently...sort of...
Starting to pack my suitcase and get things together for the trip...We will be gone for 6 days for our first trip...Then 10-12 days later we will be 3-4 days away..and then back for the pick up of Marco about 12-14 days later. I will happy to be home after 3 trips flying to Europe...LOL But it beats staying away from our family for 5 or more weeks..Last year it was 7 1/2 weeks away and I cannot do that again..I will be taking some donated hair color & my scissors to give the ladies in Vorzel some hair doos..

Ukraine: 42 killed in bus, train collision

Ukraine: 42 killed in bus, train collision

The remains of a bus lay next to a railway train at the site of an accident outside the town of Marhanets, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. The crowde AP – The remains of a bus lay next to a railway train at the site of an accident outside the town of Marhanets, …

* Train, bus collide in Ukraine Slideshow:Train, bus collide in Ukraine

– 54 mins ago

KIEV, Ukraine – A train crashed into a crowded bus in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing 42 people on the bus, including two children, and injuring nearly a dozen others, officials said.

The Interior Ministry said the accident occurred outside the town of Marhanets in the Dnipropetrovsk region after the bus attempted to cross the track, ignoring a siren that indicated an oncoming train.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement that two children were among those killed. Police officials had said earlier that 11 survivors were in critical condition with grave injuries.

Rescuers, medics and investigators are working at the scene of the crash. All the casualties were on the bus, railway officials said.

President Viktor Yanukovych declared a national day of mourning Wednesday.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov ordered his government to pay the family of each of the dead victims 100,000 hryvna ($12,600).

He also instructed transport officials to install automated crossing gates at all the nation's railway crossings to prevent cars, buses and trucks from ignoring the siren.

Road and railway accidents are common in Ukraine, where the roads are in poor condition, vehicles are poorly maintained and drivers and passengers routinely disregard safety and traffic rules.

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month

October is Down syndrome awareness month. A genetic condition generally affecting health and development, Down syndrome occurs when a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. 1 out of every 800 live births result in a child with Down syndrome.

The National Association for Down Syndrome, primarily serving the Chicago metropolitan area, encourages families to spread awareness about people who are differently-abled. Their ideas include:

• Distribute NADS posters and bookmarks to area schools, libraries, or businesses (you can order them through the NADS office or the website:
• Talk to your child’s class
• Write a letter to your local paper
• Organize a special event during October to highlight the gifts of people with Down syndrome
• Organize a “Down Syndrome Awareness Day” at a local restaurant or community event

Use social media as a tool to spread awareness. Find an inspiring quote or story or a video about an individual with Down syndrome. Tweet it or put it on your facebook status. Blog about someone with Down syndrome who has touched your life. Do a search on Google to find out what events are organized in your community. Volunteer to help.

Donate to the Chicagoland Buddy Walk this Sunday, October 10 in Wheaton, Illinois.

For more information and ideas go to the National Association for Down Syndrome

Enjoy this article? Click on the subscribe button at the top of the page to read more from this examiner. Gillian Marchenko

Monday, October 11, 2010

31 for 21 day challenge! Day 11

Love this place....Please turn off the music below to view videos

Misericordia:Disabled Care with Dignity, Chicago

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 3 ~ 31 for 21 awareness

Ten things people with Down syndrome would like you to know


We had a good turn out at our local Buddy Walk..I think our leader expected about 1000 people.. we did the walk around Handing out the Reeces Rainbow Christmas brochures & magnets... Had a few people stop at the table earlier but noticed it was much more effective getting out in the crowds like Andrea suggested, you were right! So will do it this way again next year..Got to talk to a lot of people that way about our own adopted children & we towed them in the little wagon so people could meet them! People seemed open to listen more to the plea for the orphans by them meeting our kids! Some brochures we just handed out... hoping for good exposure for Reeces Rainbow this year with all the Buddy Walks around the globe!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Different types of Down syndrome?
First question: "Can you tell me the differences between all 3 (I hope that is right) types of Down Syndrome? I get a little confused on the differences. Thanks so much!"

Thanks for asking, Molette!

Yes, there are three types of Down syndrome:

Trisomy 21, Translocation and Mosiac.

Here's an explanation of the three types from the National Down syndrome Society:

Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called "nondisjunction." Nondisjunction results in an embryo with three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two. Prior to or at conception, a pair of 21st chromosomes in either the sperm or the egg fails to separate. As the embryo develops, the extra chromosome is replicated in every cell of the body. This type of Down syndrome, which accounts for 95% of cases, is called Trisomy 21.

The two other types of Down syndrome are called mosaicism and translocation. Mosaicism occurs when nondisjunction of chromosome 21 takes place in one-but not all-of the initial cell divisions after fertilization. When this occurs, there is a mixture of two types of cells, some containing the usual 46 chromosomes and others containing 47. Those cells with 47 chromosomes contain an extra chromosome 21. Mosaicism accounts for about 1% of all cases of Down syndrome. Research has indicated that individuals with mosaic Down syndrome may have fewer characteristics of Down syndrome than those with other types of Down syndrome. However, broad generalizations are not possible due to the wide range of abilities people with Down syndrome possess.

Translocation accounts for about 4% of all cases of Down syndrome. In translocation, part of chromosome 21 breaks off during cell division and attaches to another chromosome, typically chromosome 14. While the total number of chromosomes in the cells remain 46, the presence of an extra part of chromosome 21 causes the characteristics of Down syndrome.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Digger & Penny...

Headed to Vorzel for Hairdoos next month..

We don't have our date yet for travel but I got a message today from a girl at the orphanage where my 3 little one came from..The ladies are so excited I will be coming back to do their hair LOL They were so funny..I have to say the best make-overs I ever had the opportunity to do...They were good sports! Here is the FB post from Danielle:

Today the dr had me speak with her daughter on the phone to translate that they want to know when you are coming back. They showed me your picture so that I would understand. What should I tell them? Are you going to be in Kiev next month? I have never seen them so excited when I said that I thought that you were possibly coming back soon. They really like you!

Best& only missionary thing I ever got to do in another country...

Sending a package off to our future son! Still not sure what his name will be.
Marco Yura Torres
Yura Marco Torres

The Ike Special - Varsity Edition (2010)