March 21st 2017 will mark the 12th annual World Down Syndrome Day, a day that has been created to help raise awareness of the condition. It is also a great day for fundraising, to support further research into the condition and charities that provide much needed support for people and families living with Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that around 700 babies in the UK are born with each year, that number rises to 4,000 in the US and 5,000 across Europe. Although it is a condition that occurs at conception, with no real pre-indicators and is apparent in all countries, regions and continents, the amount of research into the conditions remains low.
But, days like World Down Syndrome Day, can help raise awareness and much needed funds, too. World Down Syndrome Day was first recognised by the French Association for Research in 2005. Support from other European charities grew and the United Nations has observed awareness of the day since 2012.
Down Syndrome occurs when there’s an extra copy of chromosome T21 in a newly conceived baby’s cells. There are some common characteristics shared by those born with the condition. They include:
And, as children born with Down Syndrome grow, they are more likely to develop certain other illnesses or conditions, which include:
For many years, it was thought there was no possible way to treat or intervene with people who have Down Syndrome. But, that view is beginning to change and there is hope among some scientists that some treatment may be created that will help alleviate some problems associated with Down Syndrome.
The theme for World Down Syndrome Day, 2017, is helping people with the condition and their carers and loved ones to speak up about it. Helping them to be heard, to influence Government policy decisions and become full members of their community. The slogan is #MyVoiceMyCommunity. Get tweeting!
There are many events taking place all over the world. One that everyone can take part in is the ‘lots of socks’ campaign. You can wear the World Down Syndrome Day ‘Lots of Socks’ socks, or your own, take pictures of you and your friends’ socked feet and post them on Social Media. There is a Facebook Page, a Twitter page and an Instagram page too, giving supporters plenty of options to do this.
You could take part in activities that have already been organised, or organise an event of your own! There are plenty of Fund Raising tips and packs on the World Down Syndrome Day website.
But, one of the best says you could help support World Down Syndrome Day is to talk to people with Down Syndrome, or to others about the condition. Perhaps you could introduce an inclusive idea into your community that will benefit those with Down Syndrome and other conditions as much as people without a debilitating condition.
That would be a great way of truly helping to spread awareness and support the 2017 theme of #MyVoiceMyCommunity.
If you are interested in finding out more about World Down Syndrome Day or the condition, take a look at the links below.
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