By Tara Reyes
Luna Reyes is fierce, independent, loving, feisty, and tough beyond measure. She is a fighter. A warrior that won’t give up.
Luna was born April 19, 2013 at St Francis Hospital in Tulsa OK, and eight hours after her birth the neonatologist advised us that they believed she had Down syndrome.
If you don’t know anything about Down syndrome then you might not know that typical developing people have only two copies of the 21st chromosome. Those with Down syndrome have three copies. You also might not know that there are three types of Down syndrome. Luna has the most common of the three, trisomy 21, which affects about 5,000 babies born each year, and more than 350,000 people in the United States.
Being a first time mother at the age of 19, I felt scared, overwhelmed, and unsure about our future. All I knew in that moment is that I loved my beautiful baby girl and we would be all right.
Upon a diagnosis of Down syndrome, doctors typically tell you every additional thing that could happen to your child as a result of them having Down syndrome. They informed us that there is a 2 to 3 percent chance that children with Downs may develop leukemia. Luna was a part of that percentage and was diagnosed with cancer at age 3.
When Luna was two weeks old, after learning about her diagnosis of Down syndrome, I heard about the Little Light House thanks to Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa. I immediately put her on the wait list. The interview with Little Light House was warm and welcoming and Luna was accepted into their wonderful developmental program at two years old!
Since being at the Little Light House, Luna has blossomed into the little girl she is today. She can walk and her vocabulary, including English, Spanish, and some sign language, has grown enough that she is now speaking in sentences!
The Little Light House has been a family to us. They have watched my baby girl grow and gave her all the extra help she needed to do so. They were a blessing during her 2 1/2 year battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This school makes a difference for families and children more than words can express.
Thank you donors and volunteers for all you do for Little Light House and for all the children that attend. Your generosity paves the way for children like Luna to have the best possible beginning in life.
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