Butterflies Around the World: Join the TS Kaleidoscope!

Join the Turner Syndrome Foundation (TSF) this month in its Butterflies Around the World event. Download and print your butterfly, decorate it to your liking, and take it with you on your end-of-summer or back-to-school adventures. Take photos of you and your butterfly, submit them to TSF, and they will be featured in a September blog post. Spread your wings and join the Turner Syndrome (TS) kaleidoscope!

Why the Butterfly?

Butterflies represent hope, rebirth, life, and change. So how did the butterfly become a symbol for TS, and why are those with TS often referred to as butterflies? Someone asked us recently, and we didn’t have a great answer. So we did a little research. As Karen, a woman with TS recently said in a TSF Facebook Live performance event and discussion, it may be because butterflies are delicate but strong. Or because they are small but make a huge impact on the world. Or maybe because they are so diverse and come in many beautiful colors and patterns, like individuals with TS. 

One of the most touching descriptions of the butterfly symbol we found is from an episode of Brooke TV’s Turner Syndrome Thursdays on YouTube (Turner Syndrome: Why a Butterfly?). We encourage you to watch this five-minute video. Brooke Gonsalves, the host, talks about how the original logo came from genetics–the X chromosome resembling a butterfly with its wings spread. As awareness and support for the TS community grew, the butterfly symbol came to represent the metamorphosis from a difficult beginning (the caterpillar) to its emergence as a strong, beautiful being (the butterfly).

Did you know that a group of butterflies is called  kaleidoscope? Just like TS butterflies, a kaleidoscope is bunch of beautiful colors, designs, and shapes that combine to make something incredible.

The butterfly has become a symbol of strength and perseverance for the TS community. Those with TS have overcome medical, emotional, and social challenges and emerged stronger. So claim the butterfly symbol proudly!

Check out our related blog post here.

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Maya Angelou

Join the TS Kaleidoscope!

To celebrate butterflies, TSF has created the Butterflies Around the World event to represent all the people around the world affected by TS. The idea is to show that you are not alone, since there are many individuals living with TS all over the world. During August, take pictures of the butterfly on your adventures to show that, no matter where you are, life is happening. It is changing. There are people all around you supporting you and going through similar things as you. There is hope in all that we do, and we can help each other come back from our lowest moments.

Whether you’re traveling, sitting at your favorite coffee shop, hanging out with friends or family, or going back to school, we want to see the butterflies traveling with you! Here’s what to do:

How To Submit Your Butterfly Photos

1. Download and print the butterfly image above. Tip: Print in Portrait Orientation and, if the colors do not come out, print in black and white/grayscale.

2. Decorate your butterfly using your favorite craft supplies (glitter, jewels, string, ribbon, etc.). Bling it out! Tip: You may want to print the butterfly on cardstock and glue a popsicle/craft stick on the back of it to make it easier to hold. On the right is an example from TSF Blog Coordinator, Susan Herman.

3. Have fun taking photos on your adventures with your butterfly!

4. Submit your photos to TSF by August 31st, 2022.

5. TSF will post your photos on its blog in September!

Get Involved and Flap Your Wings!

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TSF invites you to get started on this fun and creative Butterflies Around the World call to action today. Many people all over the world are affected by TS. Your beautiful butterflies may spark a conversation in your community. Go crazy with your butterflies, and have fun! Also, check out TSF’s shop for cool merch you can show off in your photos!

Click the buttons below to learn more about how to get involved and our private, online Star Sisters support group.

Written by Kierstyn Holly, former TSF Talent Coordinator, and Janae Bunn, volunteer blog writer. Edited by Susan Herman, TSF Blog Coordinator.

© Turner Syndrome Foundation, 2022

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