There was a sympathy card on the counter, along with a jar for donations to the Stollery Children's Hospital. There were signatures from many of the regulars at the cafe. I had gotten to know him over the last little while, as we both would come by first thing in the morning to get our latte.
"Trisomy 21 is also one of the most common acquired cytogenetic abnormalities in childhood leukemia. Thus, constitutional trisomy 21 may represent a first genetic event in the development of leukemia."
National Cancer Institute.
On some mornings, our conversation would meander to one of the things we have in common. We are members of an exclusive club: we are dads of kids who have Down Syndrome. We sometimes would share a laugh at things that can only be funny or joyful to an "insider", and to an outsider might seem crude or unkind. We also both knew the variety of obstacles that our kids would face. We both knew the list of statistics that come with the territory - the border markings that often say "here, and no further".
The statistics which haunt.
EPIDEMIOLOGY OF DOWN SYNDROME--LEUKEMIA & DOWN SYNDROME
DESCRIPTION: The environmental aetiology of Down syndrome (DS) is largely unknown. DS children are at nearly a 20-fold increased risk of developing leukemia compared to children in the general population.
He was not in the cafe this morning.
Outcome for Down syndrome children with A.L.L. has generally been reported as poorer than that of non–Down syndrome children.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Donations in memoriam can be made to the Stollery Kids foundation.
Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
And I must confess,
there are times
when I look at her,
will it be me
who buries you?