Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 6, 2012.


A children’s picture book about the remarkable lessons to be learned from a little girl named Tessa, who was born with Down syndrome.

Hello—my name is Becky Carey. I am the author of the children’s book, 47 Strings: Tessa’s Special Code. I was inspired to write this book by the birth of my beautiful baby daughter, Tessa, who was born with three 21st chromosomes instead of the usual two—otherwise known as Trisomy 21 and Down syndrome.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development. It occurs in one in every 691 live births and is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder. People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46 – which explains the title of my book.

One of the first things we needed to do was tell Tessa’s 7-year old big brother, Casin, about her Down syndrome diagnosis. We wanted him to be prepared if and when people asked him questions. Mostly, we wanted to make sure that he learned about Down syndrome in a manner that was relaxed, understandable and heartfelt. 

Casin loves stories, I wrote this story with him in mind—and read it to him as he sweetly held Tessa’s hand. We recorded that moment and posted it on YouTube and on our blog. It was perfect and real.

Check out the video at:

Check out the blog at:

Our YouTube video has reached over 10,000 views because of people like you…who have shared it with friends, family, or on your Facebook pages. THANK YOU! Keep spreading the joy and the good word! 

Now we need your help to publish 47 Strings: Tessa’s Special Code as a children’s picture book–to inspire, help guide, and reassure parents and families all over the world that kids with “47 strings” just means there is a little more of them to love. The money raised will be used to cover the cost of professionally illustrating, editing, publishing and printing 2,000 beautiful hardcover books.

BUT…we only have 30 days to reach our goal! So we need you to do these three simple things:

  1. Pledge any amount of money!
  2. Spread the word by sharing this with others!
  3. Receive great incentives!

Without you, we won’t reach our goal and make it possible to help other families like mine as they start their journey. Help us spread understanding and awareness of Down syndrome.

“There are only a few books out there for younger children about Down Syndrome. I especially like how Tessa's story is more positive from the parents’ perspective. I could definitely see this book being utilized by:

- Parents to educate other siblings, and their friends, in an easy-to-understand way.

- Classrooms to educate peers of a child with Down syndrome.

- Hospitals and pediatricians to give to parents upon diagnosis of Down syndrome.”

– Sue Dahlen, mother of 3 girls including middle daughter, Caroline, who has Down syndrome

Special thanks to Ann Gorgen, photography; Jason McGraw, videography; and Carrie Stidwell O'Boyle, writer/editor.


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    Everyone who donates will receive a Facebook shout-out!

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    A thank you postcard from the author.

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    Down syndrome awareness bracelet and Down syndrome bookmark.

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    A T-shirt with cool trisomy twenty-ONEderful 47 Strings: Tessa's Special Code. Plus, a signed copy of the book, a bracelet, and bookmark.

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    Your name will appear in the acknowledgements of the book and you will receive the story as an e-book. Plus, a signed copy of the book, a bracelet, bookmark, and T-shirt.

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- (30 days)