FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Down Syndrome affects one in every 700 people in the United States. That's why more than 30 parents of the Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana now have permanent reminders of how special their children are.
"The tattoo art is so awesome," said Bethany Jewell.
Bethany is just like any one else. She likes to dance and go to camp.
"My favorite's waltz," she said.
Bethany lives with Down Syndrome, a disorder that means she has an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Her parents joined others in getting three arrows tattooed on them.
"We call it the lucky few tattoo. And it has three arrows, and it represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome," said Kathy Whiteman, Moms chair of DSANI.
Whiteman helped put on the event at Grade A Tattoos, and has a four year old with Down Syndrome.
"We didn't know what to expect. We did not get the diagnosis prenatally. So, it was a surprise, but it has just been wonderful every step of the way, and not without complications, but we wouldn't change anything," she said.
Whiteman and others parents are reminding themselves and their children that they can always rise up and push forward, no matter what life throws their way.
"People are afraid of what they don't understand, and they'll stare and there's questions. We just try to educate and we encourage questions. If you're not sure about something, please ask us. We'd be more than happy to share our experience with you," Whiteman said.
For many parents this was their first tattoo, something artists say makes the event even more special.
"To see all these people put that fear aside for something like this, I think it's incredible," said Timothy Vandroff, an artist at Grade A Tattoos.
And for Bethany, her mom's tattoo means a whole lot more.
"She's amazing," she said.
To learn more about the Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana, visit their website here.