banner_imgbanner_img Mardra SikoraMardra Sikora

Our Story of Down syndrome: The Short Version

For the first 21 years or so of Marcus’ life,  “Down syndrome” didn’t really come up, and I kept our privacy setting as restricted. Not that I was hiding, I just wasn’t sharing. Why? Well, one reason is because most of those years were pretty, how shall I say this? Boring. Not to me, you […].. read more

Here Are Links to the Huffington Post Blogs

Hello Friends, Here we go! In August of 2015, Chris Burke is turning 50. I had to tell him, and his family, what his life’s work has meant to me and so many others: Open Letter of Gratitude and Well Wishes to Actor Chris Burke Dear Mr. Chris Burke, My son was born in 1990, […].. read more

Quick updates on our trip so far

This book tour trip got started on Sat with our first visit Sunday at GiGi’s Playhouse in Atlanta. Our first hiccup was Marcus came down to breakfast with some red swelling above his left eye. By the time we got to “the gig” I was thinking it was an allergic reaction to…something. The folks at […].. read more

#NeverAlone and Down Syndrome Diagnosis

It’s Thursday October 1st. That means today is the first day of #DSAM15 – Down Syndrome Awareness Month, or as I like to call it: Down Syndrome Awareness/Advocacy/Acceptance/(be)Awesome Month! As a blogger it is my duty to be a part of what I call the Google-War: The battle to get current, positive information into the […].. read more

Your Day, Change the World, and LifewithDs

Here on Change the Your World Wed I want to share a project spearheaded by another momma - Meriah Nichols - #LifewithDs Even if, well actually, especially if you don’t have a forum of your own, like a blog or website, go to this spot A Day In the Life with Down Syndrome and share “a day in the life.” Parents, self-advocates, siblings, and/or friends and caregivers, anyone who is a part of the Ds community is welcome to share their story about a day in the life... read more


Mardra&MarcusAt 7 months pregnant, there came a night when I woke up in terrible pain. I climbed into our stick-shift car, which I did not know how to drive, and started down the road. It wasn’t pretty and probably didn’t sound too good, the car either, but we (the car and I) got to the hospital in time for me to pass out in a wheelchair just inside the emergency room doors. That was nearly 23 years ago.

Two months later I gave birth to a beautiful boy and I still find myself winging it.

My son has grown up to be an amazing young man. He loves his job, attends acting classes, hopes to put his own musical on Broadway, and doesn’t seem to mind that he has an extra chromosome in his DNA.

I didn’t know how to raise a child with Down syndrome any more than I knew how to drive a stick-shift. But we’ve cruised through the years, pushed over a few roadblocks and taken several detours. We’ve learned many lessons that have been more special than the needs.

The stories from the early years and the joys and challenges of today are featured in the Grown Ups & Downs blog. Check out some of the resources and on-line friends we’ve made. Wander back to the middle-ages and meet a special Prince from the forthcoming novel The Innocent Prince. And, of course, join the conversation on any of our social plugins.

See you soon,

Mardra Sikora

Grown ups and downs

Grown ups and downs

Mother Nature gives, most of the time, about 9 months to prepare for a baby. Still, I had only a bassinet and a few baby blankets in preparation of my son’s birth.

The march of time gives us 21 years before our children are considered “adult.” My son is nearly 23 years old. He has Down syndrome and I may yet figure out “the system,” for better and worse.

For now we have 23 years of stories to tell and new lessons to learn every day. Join us out of curiosity, empathy, research. It’s all good.

We’re here to share and show that the lessons are more special than the more

The Innocent Prince

and other fiction...

Explore Carmus the Island Kingdom. Visit the Garden of Eden. Journey into the not –to-distant future where the value of life is predetermined by…

Sometimes there’s only time for something short, something you can read in a flash. Or poetry.

Enter the world of the fairies that, “…blossoms in green hues that begin as light as the daybreak and soon deepen to support the spectrum of color covering the land.”

Wait quietly under the willow tree anticipating the invisible storm, wait longingly to feel your pages turned, daydream a hero’s beginning and a hero’s end. Meet a story-teller, a healer, an orphan, a duke -

Words from all of these worlds come out from the shadows when you sign in to follow The Innocent Prince and other more