Lifestyle & Human Interest

Parents Get Matching 'Extra Chromosome' Tattoos To Honor Son with Down Syndrome


The parents of a 7-year-old boy with Down syndrome got matching extra chromosome tattoos as a sign of the love they have for their son.

Texas residents Chip and Laura Franks are the proud parents of three children, including their son Alec, who has Down syndrome.

“When he was born, the doctors told us he was different than other girls and boys,” Chip Franks wrote on his son’s Facebook page, The Amazing Alec.

“We were told that our Beautiful, Wonderful, Little Man had Down Syndrome.”

Now seven years old and in elementary school, Alec is bringing love and inspiration into the lives of everyone he meets.

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Chip and Laura couldn’t be prouder of Alec, and recently acted on their daughter’s idea to get matching tattoos in Alec’s honor.

Mandy Franks snapped photos of the moment her mom and dad got their extra chromosome tattoos, and they have gained a lot of attention online.

On Facebook, Chip explained the reasoning behind the tattoo, prefacing with the details that he and his wife had never really wanted a tattoo before.

“For others, it’s not a big deal,” Chip wrote, “but for Laura and I, it is.”

“We want to be reminded of our sweet boy,” Chip wrote. “And if anyone asks, we’ll have a way to talk about the blessing that is Down Syndrome.”

“It seemed like an act of love for him and our family.”

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Alec has been fortunate to be surrounded by parents, siblings, teachers and friends who adore him and want the absolute best for him.

Chip has written for The Mighty to raise awareness about Down syndrome, explaining how much joy Alec brings to his everyday life.

“I have extremely high hopes for him,” Chip wrote on the storytelling platform “Medium.”

“And I expect the best in him, but sometimes even I catch myself being surprised — like my expectations aren’t high enough, because he seems to always exceed them.”

While some may see parenting a child with Down syndrome as a burden, Chip finds it to be a blessing.

“I would not trade him for any boy in the whole wide world. Not in the entire history of boys,” Chip wrote. “He’s mine and I’m so happy about that.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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