Here's the meaning behind the viral 'Lucky Few' tattoo.

There are a lot of reasons to get a tattoo — to honor a loved one, visualize a spiritual or life goal, or just for the aesthetic appeal.

(They do look pretty cool, after all.)


Tattoos can also symbolize that you belong to and identify deeply with a certain group — like the recently famous semicolon tattoo that denotes a person's battle with depression or suicidal thoughts.

Now a group of moms is banding together with their own tattoos that symbolize their family's experience with Down syndrome.

A group of these moms recently met up at a Ruby's Rainbow retreat — a nonprofit that raises funds to get people with Down syndrome the education and training they need to succeed in the world — when they decided to get matching tattoos to commemorate their unique bond.

Designer Mica May was among those in the group, and she came up with a concept on the spot: three arrows stacked on top of one another.

They decided to call it the "Lucky Few" tattoo in reference to a popular book about Down syndrome.

Photo via missdaleyteachessped/Instagram,​ used with permission

In an Instagram post, May wrote that the concept had come to her in a dream, though she initially wasn't sure what it meant.

The other moms noticed that the number three seemed to be incredibly symbolic of Down syndrome, also called trisomy 21, in which children are born with three copies of the 21st chromosome.

This genetic irregularity puts people affected by Down syndrome at greater risk for certain health conditions and presents different challenges for them in the way they learn and move through the world.

Down syndrome affects about 6,000 babies in the United States ever year.

Photo via savannaculpepper.fit/Instagram​, used with permission

Now the movement is going viral, with parents, teachers, and loved ones of people with Down syndrome all over the country joining in.

People who admit they never thought they'd get a tattoo are going under the needle to show their love and support for people affected by the syndrome.

Photo via cay_young_/Instagram, used with permission

Hundreds are taking to Instagram using the hashtag #theluckyfewtattoo to share their photos and stories.

Photo via kaiandmal/Instagram, used with permission.

Some parents have even organized mass tattoo-ing events in their area.

The Mighty reports that one group in California had over 260 local moms sign up to get the tattoo at the same local shop.

Photo by Nicole Eliason Photography, used with permission.

Photo by Nicole Eliason Photography, used with permission.

Parenting a child with Down syndrome can be a tremendously difficult challenge. It can also be extremely rewarding.

The difficulties can be vast, but one survey found that parents of children with Down syndrome self-reported that their outlook on life was more positive than before, with the experience teaching them new depths of love and compassion.

Elle Westover, who shared her own tattoo on Instagram recently, put it like this: "The Arrows, because we can only launch forward after we have been pulled back and stretched."

Photo via ellewestover/Instagram, used with permission

There's no overestimating how much a sense of belonging can help people through hard times. The Lucky Few Tattoo is a constant, visual reminder for these parents of why the challenges are worth it.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's