World Down Syndrome Day is a special holiday in the Martinka household. Along with the daily hugs, their daughter Joy also shares her many gifts with her family.

They have learned how to be more patient, more compassionate, more silly, more tolerant, more loyal, more loving, more empathetic and to wake up each day with a positive attitude. They have learned to live their lives with JOY! 

In honor of the special day, Joy made this video!

Joy’s mom Ann Martinka is the Customer Relations Expert at Hammer Travel, supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in scheduling trips!

She shared this special poem on World Down Syndrome Day 2021:

The Four-Leaf Clover

Who knows why Down syndrome occurs? Why does the extra 21st chromosome stick to the cell when the fertilized egg begins its first cell division?

It can be compared to what happens in nature, to a field of clover. Usually, we see 3 leaves on each clover. Once in a while, however, we find a clover that has an extra leaf making it a four-leaf clover. We don’t know why Mother Nature decided to add that extra leaf; she just did.

There is no obvious explanation all of the clover plants grew in the same soil, were exposed to the same sun and rain, etc. Mother Nature just decided to add an extra leaf to one of the clover in the clover patch. This doesn’t make it better or not as good as the other clover it just makes it unique. Some people even believe it brings a person good luck when they find a four-leaf clover.

It is much the same way with the extra chromosome. We don’t know why Mother Nature didn’t let the cell divide evenly, but she didn’t. She decided to add another chromosome to that baby’s cells. And if you find one of those babies, you are truly lucky for they are very special babies who grow into very special people. (author unknown)