The X of our Xtra Love logo is shaped like a chromosome to represent the extra chromosome of Down Syndrome. Russell's older brother, Everett, drew the heart when he was four years old, and the tagline is in his handwriting. Our logo and tagline was a family affair. The three arrows represent the third extra chromosome on chromosome #21. They also symbolize moving forward. Russell’s extra chromosome and his extra love are the inspirations behind Xtra Love. The feeling of a hug from Russell when we're sad and no one else in the world knows it, or the warmth we feel from head to toe when he wraps his arms around our necks, or the unconditional love he offers...that extra love is sometimes just enough to let the worries and cares of the moment fall away, a reminder of what really matters in this life. It’s a beautiful motivator to get back on our feet and to do the next right and loving thing.
Watching Russell develop and grow, I have had some ideas for resources to help him and other children with Down Syndrome and other special needs. For now, we are launching with the Xtra Love t-shirt to raise awareness and to celebrate the beautiful lives and love of children with Down Syndrome, spreading more love around our communities and around the world. In many countries, the low rates of Down Syndrome are reported with pride, and in still others, children with Down Syndrome are neglected and abused in orphanages and mental institutions where they are never given the opportunity to grow and thrive. Here in Taiwan, nearly 100% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome prenatally are aborted. In 2013 when Russell was born, he was one of only 14 babies on the island born with Down Syndrome. We would love for you to join us in showing extra love and support to families who have children with Down Syndrome and other special needs. We invite you to walk with us on the journey of giving and receiving extra love.
The long-term vision of Xtra Love is to have a non-profit component, where proceeds will be used to create welcome baskets, which will include gifts and supportive resources, for families who have a new diagnosis of Down Syndrome. We want them to know that though the journey can be scary and unknown, it is also beautiful and full of joy, and that they are loved and not alone. If you would like to be a part of this project, please contact me! The profits from the sale of these shirts will go towards supporting our family and Russell’s supportive therapies, including speech therapy and his classroom aide.
Gloria Hsu is the founder of xtralove.me. She is wife to childhood sweetheart Clive Hsu and mother to four biological sons and one adopted daughter. Gloria and her family live in Taiwan, where her husband teaches at Morrison Academy, the school where they grew up. Gloria was a nurse practitioner while living in America. She is the co-founder of Pregnancy Support Center (PSC) in Taichung, where she just finished serving for six years as director and continues to serve on the board of directors. Her dream is to help support her family through this website while supporting families of children with Down Syndrome, celebrating their lives with family, friends, and the world.
Learn more about PSC in Taiwan at http://pregnancysupport.tw.