‘Heart to Heart with Anna’ was delighted to promote awareness of World Down Syndrome Day after being contacted by Penny Green, Director of Down’s Heart Group. We love receiving suggestions from Listeners about different show topics and this one fit in perfectly with our theme for Season 7: Congenital Heart Defects Around the Globe. Penny Green lives in the United Kingdom and did a fantastic job of informing us all about the needs of parents of children with Down syndrome and what resources are currently available.
Penny talked about her son, Daniel, who was born with Down syndrome on August 3, 1989. The mother of a healthy son already, she and her husband were suddenly thrown into an unknown world of hospitals, specialists full of jargon and tests that would reveal that Daniel not only had Down syndrome, but like many of his cohorts, a congenital heart defect to boot.
In 2010 Penny dyed her hair pink to mark her 50th birthday and her son’s 21st birthday. She is well known throughout the Down syndrome community managing the World Down Syndrome Day Facebook group – which now boasts over 21,000 members.
Penny shares with us during the show how she was an Olympic torchbearer in 2012. What I loved were the stories she articulated about sharing that experience with children with Down syndrome in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. It’s amazing to me what kind of a difference each and every one of us is capable of making if we just seize the moment. I can only imagine how exciting it was for those kids to get to carry the torch, too!