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.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less
Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less