An extraordinary and noble service to life arose in Spain through a simple Instagram page. It all started on the initiative of María Doussinague; mother of three children and the last of whom, Marieta, has Down syndrome.
When she found out during pregnancy, it was a difficult time for María. Abortion, however, was never in question; despite outside pressures and unsolicited suggestions. In the end, Marieta–who recently turned nine–was born. It was the “best decision” her mother could have made. “I never regretted it and now I have a daughter who makes me and everyone around me so happy,” testifies Mrs. Doussinague, interviewed by the channel El Rosario de las 11 pm .
Almost 100% of Down pregnancies are aborted
During the nine years of Marieta’s life, her mom María and dad Cesar have tried as much as possible to network with hundreds of other families of children with Trisomy 21. “Of the 400 families I know,” María explains, “about half have children with Down syndrome who came into the world because there was no prenatal diagnosis and their mothers found out during childbirth.” Sadly, if many of these families today discovered an impaired child during pregnancy, “most would abort.” After all, statistics from the Spanish Down Syndrome Foundation say that of the approximately 400,000 children born each year in Spain, only 150 have Down syndrome while some 95% of Down pregnancies end in abortion.
Ever since María received the diagnosis on her daughter, she immediately understood that the biggest problem would not be Down syndrome itself, but the lack of information. She then set herself a mission: “To transform the world so that children with Down syndrome are not only born, but welcomed.” The page Marieta’s chromosome was therefore created with the intention of “demolishing myths” and “showing the value of disability in our society,” explains Ms. Doussinague.
The life of a child with Down syndrome is certainly not easy, but it can be beautiful and is certainly a life worth living; no more and no less than any other. The images of little Marieta immortalized in her daily life are of an unspeakable tenderness, and have won (at last count) the hearts of more than 10 thousand followers. These are photos that show Marieta’s life for what it is: a normal child, joyfully living everything her peers live. The mother was endlessly grateful for the attention shown to the Instagram page and to the topic of Down syndrome in general. “They saw in Marieta a light in their lives,” says one mom. She adds that it encourages other Down parents, showing “the path their child will travel and the hope of seeing how a little girl can be happy, talking, laughing, playing like all other children.”
A happy child
Marieta’s mom and dad never thought, “Why me?” They experience their little daughter’s Down syndrome more as a condition and a state of affairs than as “drama.” “She is making me grow up and have a much better life than if Marieta had not existed. This daughter that God sent to my family has made us better,” reiterates María, in the conviction that a child with Down syndrome can be happy, without ever being “a burden to the siblings.” The testimony of the Doussinague family confirms that this is possible.
Marieta is currently preparing for her First Communion and, as her mother reports, “knows the Our Father and Hail Mary perfectly, despite her language difficulties.” The child has already developed her own religiousness and her parents see her praying with devotion. “She loves religion classes, she knows about the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, she also likes anything to do with Christmas, the Three Kings and knows all the Christmas carols,” her mother says. “She taught us to enjoy life, to celebrate everything, the small and the big progress, and to appreciate every detail of what we have”, and to “keep in mind what is really important in life and to forget the little things that are not necessary. Marieta taught us all this,” the mother concludes.