Moms and their kids with Down syndrome created the best music video of 2018.

It's amazing what an extra chromosome can do.

Humans typically have 23 pairs of them, but some people have 22 matched pairs and a set of three. That genetic sequence often leads to Down syndrome. While medical books call this phenomenon "trisomy," parents usually prefer the term "miracle."

All GIFs via Wouldn't Change a Thing/YouTube.


That's probably why 50 different mothers and their children with Down syndrome joined forces to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.

The families each lip-synced and signed along to Christina Perri's hit ballad "A Thousand Years."

"I have died everyday, waiting for you."

"Darling, don't be afraid."

"I have loved you for a thousand years."

"I'll love you for a thousand more."

The parents met as part of Designer Genes, a Facebook group for parents who have a child with Down syndrome born in 2013 or 2014. (There are several different digital chapters of the group online.)

Each parent recorded a video in the car, a send-up to the popular Carpool Karaoke segment on "The Late Late Show With James Corden." The pieces were edited together to create a heartwarming music video, capturing the beautiful, happy, and perfectly ordinary lives these families lead.

The signs they're using in the video aren't American or British Sign Language, but Makaton.

Makaton is a language program that employs hand signs and written symbols to help people of all ages communicate. Unlike traditional sign language, the symbols and signs are used in spoken word order. It's a flexible system and can be adapted across different languages and cultures. More than 100,000 people currently use the language, with many starting as children and phasing it out when they develop speech while others continue to use Makaton into adulthood.

The video was inspired by Singing Hands, an organization in the U.K. that offers Makaton classes, videos, and songbooks. Singing Hands released their own version of "A Thousand Years," which inspired the moms of "Designer Genes" to put their compilation together in time for the annual World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.

That extra chromosome may seem like too much to handle or something to fear. But it's just the opposite.

It's not something to shy away from. It's something to embrace, celebrate, take pride in, and love. With representation and visibility opportunities like this, these parents and families are telling the world and their kids that extra chromosome or no, they "Wouldn't Change a Thing."

Grab a tissue and enjoy the heartwarming video in full.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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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

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"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.

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A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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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