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Why Miracle Child Caden is 51% Mommy

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month. Miracle Child Caden has Down syndrome. He’s a weekly patient at Penn State Children’s Hospital. In this guest blog post, Caden’s mom, Jessica, gives some insight:

What is Down syndrome?

  • Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes in their cells for a total of 46. With Down syndrome, there are the usual 46 chromosomes plus one extra 21st chromosome for a total of 47.
  • It is also called Trisomy 21.

There are 3 types of Down syndrome:

  • Caden has the most common type where the extra chromosome is in every cell of his body.
  • A second type is called Translocation and accounts for 4% of DS diagnoses. This is when part of an extra 21st chromosome attaches to another chromosome such as chromosome 14.
  • The third type is called mosaicism and accounts for 1% of cases of DS. This is when the extra copy of the 21st chromosome is in some but not all cells of the body so that some have 46 and some have 47.

This image is how I received Caden’s prenatal diagnosis.

It is the DNA karyotype (like a picture) from an amniocentesis performed when I was 20 weeks pregnant due to irregularities in the ultrasound. The extra 21st chromosome is clearly visible. The reason Trisomy 21 occurs is unknown. It is a random occurrence during cell division of an egg or a sperm though in the majority of cases, it comes from the egg. Hence the reason that I claim Caden is 51% mommy whenever he does something amazing! 😉

Caden is much more than just a diagnosis. He’s smart, kind and loves to make others smile. When he’s not in school, you’ll find him playing ice hockey, video games or hanging with his dog, Puddin. Thank you for continuing to support kids like Caden as he grows! Watch his story: