OCTOBER IS DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH, CELEBRATE T21 WITH US.
Celebrate the beauty of our world during the month of October. Help us show everyone the amazing people we live with and who we call our children, brothers, sisters and friends.
Learn a little about Down syndrome and when it was discovered:
John Langdon Down named the syndrome Down syndrome. He was a British physician who, in 1866, first described the physical characteristics of the syndrome.
In 1959, Down syndrome was identified as a chromosomal condition by the French physician Jerome Lejeune. He identified that there were 47 chromosomes present in each cell, whereas usually there are 46.
It is, in fact, an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21 and this extra genetic material is what causes the developmental changes and physical features in people with Down syndrome. There are three types of Down syndrome:
Trisomy 21. This is by far the most common type, where every cell in the body has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two. Translocation Down syndrome. In this type, each cell has part of an extra chromosome 21, or an entirely extra one. But it’s attached to another chromosome instead of being on its own. Mosaic Down syndrome. This is the rarest type, where only some cells have an extra chromosome 21.
There are many physical characteristics of Down syndrome including: an extra line across the palm of the hand, a flattened facial profile and nose, small ears and a thick nuchal fold on the neck. But don’t be fooled by the differences in appearance … our beautiful babes will make you see they are just like everyone else in the world in more ways than one.
People with Down syndrome can accomplish and fulfil any dream they may have and they do this every single day by living their best lives. Did you know, there are many successful business owners, sportsmen and women and dancers who carry an extra chromosome and this list goes on.
We celebrate people with Down syndrome in October each year and raise awareness to show people the capabilities and amazing lives of people living with the syndrome.
My son Darcy is 14 years old and like many 14-year-old boys, he loves to hang out with his friends and family. His favourite sports are football and basketball. He is amazing at ten pin bowling and he loves dance. He is representing our state next year in the junior nationals for Special Olympics in basketball and athletics.
Darcy loves to go to concerts and the theatre; he loves to discover and experience amazing things, and make wonderful memories with our family.
We want Darcy to achieve all of his dreams and have success just like his brothers and we get to see him do this every single day.
One main characteristic of Darcy’s that I wish the rest of us had, is his ability to be so empathetic and kind, and his opinions and emotions are not tainted by what anyone else thinks. His emotions are exactly what he is feeling, and he does not change that because of what someone else might say.
I also love the way Darcy enjoys learning and experiencing things so much even if he’s done it before. He gets so much joy out of life which then gives us and all those around him the same amount of joy.
Give people a chance and watch them shine.
Written by Julie Fisher, DS Advocate.
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