The father of modern genetics, Dr. Jérôme Lejeune discovered in 1959 the extra chromosome 21 responsible for the condition known as Down syndrome, which he called trisomy 21. He received many international awards, including the Kennedy Foundation Award and the William Allan Memorial Award of the American Society of Human Genetics. Inspired by a deep belief that a cure for trisomy 21 would be found one day and that medicine has a duty to serve society’s weakest members, Lejeune dedicated his life to research and to caring for the intellectually disabled. The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation continues his work today by serving thousands of patients with trisomy 21 and other intellectual disabilities of genetic origin, through a triple objective—research for treatments, medical care, and advocacy.

What They Are Saying:

“When Dr. Jérôme Lejeune, the most renowned geneticist in the world, took his stand for the unborn child, he became a pariah, shunned by his elite ‘friends,’ defamed in the press, and deprived of funding for his research. How did he persevere to earn John Paul II’s description of him as ‘a great Christian of the twentieth century’? This engaging book shows that Jérôme Lejeune, as husband and father, drew his strength from faith and family.” — Charles E. Rice, University of Notre Dame

“Jérôme Lejeune was one of the greatest Catholic men of the twentieth century. To Pope John Paul II he was a valued personal friend. To medical researchers (honest ones, at least), he was an esteemed colleague who should have won a Nobel Prize. But to his own children he remained first and foremost a loving and beloved father. Seeing him here in that role, we learn more about the great public man.” — Philip Lawler, Editor, Catholic World Report

Life Is a Blessing gives us a glance at Jérôme Lejeune from the perspective of a devoted father, a family man. His scientific accomplishments are not to be understood apart from this. Dr. Lejeune lived this truth. This book helps its readers do the same.” — Fr. Frank Pavone, Director, Priests for Life