Image credit: Ashley Zambelli via Facebook
A mother has gone viral on TikTok after receiving a diagnosis for Mosaic Down syndrome at the age of 23, when three of her pregnancies were diagnosed with Down syndrome. Upon receiving this diagnosis, the young mother has declared that this will not stop her from having more children.
Facebook page It’s Gone Viral posted a collaboration of videos from TikTok of Ashley Zambelli, a 23-year-old mother of three, who recently discovered that she has Mosaic Down syndrome. She explains that in a typical case of Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, the 21st chromosome is identified in all of the person’s cells. However, Mosaic Down syndrome is when only a certain percentage of cells contain the 21st Chromosome, whereas the rest of the person’s cells will not.
Sharing her story in the TikTok video, Zambelli explains how she has had seven pregnancies, three of which survived. Two of her surviving daughters have been diagnosed with Down syndrome, and one of her miscarriages also received a diagnosis. After having multiple babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, Zambelli’s O.B. suggested she receive genetic testing in order to find an explanation, which could further explain her multiple miscarriages.
She had a Buccal smear test, which was done by collecting and analysing cells from her cheeks, where it was discovered that out of the approximately 400 cells analysed, 3% came back containing the 21st chromosome, giving Zambelli her diagnosis, which she credits to her children.
“Had I not had kids, I probably would have never known that I had Down’s syndrome,” she said.
“I am actually very, very, very excited to have this diagnosis. Everything makes sense in my life now,” she added.
Receiving this diagnosis means that she has a higher chance of conceiving a child with Down syndrome, but has declared that this will not stop her from having more children.
“I don’t mind still having kids knowing that they could have Down syndrome,” she said. “The only reason I wouldn’t have kids is just for financial reasons. There’s no problem with having kids who have Down syndrome. It’s the financial aspect that is difficult because I want to make sure my kids get everything that they need to thrive in life.”
“My diagnosis will not stop me from having more kids, even if I knew for 100% that they would have Down syndrome. That’s not a problem for me, and it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone else,” she added.
She continues to explain that after her diagnosis, as one of her daughters was not diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, she was suspected of having Mosaic Down syndrome like her mother, and was thus tested.
“The result was she is typical, which is awesome to hear,” Zambelli said. “It means that I am capable of having typical children. So that means my chances of conceiving a child with Trisomy 21 is 50%.”
On her TikTok account, Zambelli regularly posts videos about Trisomy 21 and of her responses to comments, particularly from those that question why she would want to continue having more children if they could have Down syndrome.
In It’s Gone Viral’s video, she responds to a comment asking her “why would you want more?”
“I mean why wouldn’t I want more? Do you not see this little cutie pie right here?” she said, zooming into one of her daughters. “My family planning is just as valid as anybody else’s. So, if you wouldn’t ask other people that question, I don’t really understand why you’re asking me that question. It implies you think my children shouldn’t be earth side and I don’t really appreciate that.
In another video, responding to a comment “you are bringing someone into the world that you know will have an incredibly hard time fitting into society.”
“It’s not that people with Down syndrome have a hard time fitting into society, it’s that society for the most part, just doesn’t let them in. The society we live in is not inclusive, not welcoming, and not accepting. So please just be more open minded and be more accepting, because if you do, then someone else will, if that other person does, then more people will. And that’s what will change society and then my kids won’t have such an “incredibly hard” time fitting in.”
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