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  • Mika Hartman

Hudson's Journey: EXTRA Rare

By: Mika Hartman

Hudson's Journey: EXTRA Rare

Recently, CJ took us on a beautiful vacation. We love cruising for many reasons, so we boarded the newest ship The Icon of the Seas.  Traveling with Hudson presents many challenges, but we know his life needs to be more than doctors appointments and therapy. Huddy is six and he’s been on six cruises. This isn’t meant to brag or be boastful, but to say that we have found a way that our family travels well and we go. Cruising may not be for everyone; for us, we have all of Hudson’s needed medical equipment close by in our room and we can have fun in any time increments that he’s up to. Our room is definitely used and we approach the bigger stuff in a “divide and conquer” way. Something for all.   

Hudson always grows on our adventures. He comes back with a more confident stride in his step. He takes more bites of food. He tries new things. We may still have the routine of his needs to meet that can’t be missed, but he deserves to live and to be challenged.   

I won’t endorse this ship; many hits and misses for a family like mine. I look through different lenses than most and you’d likely go “coo coo for cocoa puffs” over this floating city. I really wish they’d hire a special needs parent when making final decisions. I am not saying that they need to make the entire ship ADA friendly, but more simple considerations would have made it better for all and wouldn’t negatively change the experience for anyone. The staff was amazing and very helpful and we made several new friends onboard, too. Oh, and the crepes! Unlimited crepes are always a great idea.   

This cruise was the most “divide and conquer” one we’ve taken. Our daughter, Henley, is only home for a couple more years; so, vacations like this and summer freedoms are winding down with her. The goal of “just right” was met; however, CJ and I didn’t really get to do a lot together. He instead surprised me with something I've never dreamed of, a rare diamond ring. As I walked through the jewelry store on the ship, I was instantly drawn to the yellow diamonds. I looked at all of the displays and kept eyeing the yellow ones. I assumed it was because of my love for Hudson and Down syndrome, in general. Both blue and yellow have become a regular part of my wardrobe; awareness to acceptance is the mission. “Let me try that one on, please”, I told the lady behind the counter.   

With this gorgeous bauble on my finger, she started sharing the reason it is so rare. Only 1 carat in 10,000 carats mined are this intense canary yellow diamond.   

Wait, what?  

That’s my Hudson. A beautiful diamond that is rare, and still a perfect diamond. Extra valuable. Extra unique. Creates extra happiness and joy. Different, but brilliant.

“Diamonds need not explain how radiant they are, they just keep shining. Whoever shall admire their brilliance, will find their way to them.” ~Unknown  

So, CJ bought it for me. It was meant to be.   

If you think about a diamond, it’s a piece of coal that never gave up. Any person born with Down syndrome has been coal from the start. 


My favorite fact about Down syndrome is this:

     20% of eggs with a 21st chromosome survives the first cell division. Of that 20%, only 20% survive to fertilization. Of that 20%, only 20% actually survive the first cell division following fertilization. 

These children are miracles who have fought to live every step of the way. And they each “shine bright like a diamond” and they are “EXTRA rare”.


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