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BHS Alum Amanda Marks Cunningham Uses Personal Journey to Support Families on Similar Journeys; Here's How You Can Help

By Trina Runner on March 06, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

It has been a year of transition and grace for the Cunningham family. While the birth of a child is always a life-changing experience, the arrival of Aurora (Rory) last May brought with it emotions that have allowed the family to not only embrace her, but to count their blessings on a daily basis.
 
After a typical pregnancy, Bridgeport High School Alumnus Amanda Marks Cunningham had the nursery in order and the baby shower gifts ready to use.  She and her husband, Evan, along with son Owen eagerly anticipated the arrival of Rory, who arrived seven days early just like her brother.
 
The family was shocked when it was announced abruptly in the delivery room that Rory had arrived with undetected Down Syndrome. 
 
“The emotional journey my husband and I have traveled from May to March has been a hard one, but so much more promising than when we started it in May,” said Cunningham.  “We no longer see Down Syndrome when we look at our daughter. My days are no longer filled with the loss of the daughter I thought I would have.”
 
Through faith and research, the Cunninghams have been blessed beyond measure with a happy family, stronger than ever having gone through this experience. They have found support, encouragement and humor as they have become smitten with a little lady named Rory.
 
“She has a smile that will melt your heart and the kindest spirit I have ever felt,” said Cunningham.  “Currently, she is thriving and exceeding expectations and each day continues to bring a level of joy, humility and hope we have never experienced.”
 
March 21st is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome.  WDSD is a day dedicated to helping raise awareness of what Down Syndrome is, what it means to have Down Syndrome, and how people with Down Syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities. 
 
"The Good Life Isn't Over" has become the Cunningham family motto following Rory's diagnosis. Despite the fear of the unknown, Evan and Amanda made a commitment early on that they would still thrive as a family.
 
“We want to share this message with other families facing unexpected medical diagnosis of their children. This saying paired with the promises of God, our family and friends helped make a hard circumstance easier,” said Cunningham
 
In partnership with  Showstopper Graphics  we’ve created t-shirts for World Down Syndrome Day (( 3-21)) They will be $25, profits will be going to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network - DSDN. The Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (DSDN) supports families with current information and real-life accounts of life with Down syndrome during the prenatal, newborn, and early childhood phases.
 
“This organization was a lighthouse to me personally in a very confusing time. The network has connected countless local moms who have found themselves in a similar season,” said Cunningham. “We would be so grateful to see social media filled with all of our friends in this shirt, showing support for families like ours. If you snap a picture #WDSDand #roryblakeisgreat  tagging @roryblakeisgreat.”
 
Orders made this week will be in the week of March 12. You can place your order following this link: https://theglorydaysco.com . If you are willing to pickup your shirt from the Country Peddler on Main Street in Bridgeport, please use code  WVLOCAL for free shipping. If you would prefer the shirt be mailed, please do not use this discount code. 
 
“Please be kind. We are so grateful to be living in this community and look forward to seeing Rory and Owen flourishing alongside your children in the years to come,” said Cunningham.
 
If you would like to learn more about Down Syndrome visit : https://www.ndss.org/about-down-syndrome/down-syndrome-facts/
 
 


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