Every person born with Down syndrome has three copies of the 21st chromosome—one more than normal. In recognition of their unique pattern, March 21 (3/21)has been named World Down Syndrome Day.
World Down Syndrome Day was created as a way to raise awareness of one of the most prevalent genetic defects, and to help promote those born with Down syndrome acheive equality and a better way of life.
Here are some of the facts about Down syndrome (from National Down Syndrome Congress):
• Down syndrome is a common genetic variation which usually causes delay in physical, intellectual and language development.
• The exact causes of the chromosomal rearrangement and primary prevention of Down syndrome are currently unknown.
• Down syndrome is one of the leading clinical causes of cognitive delay in the world – it is not related to race, nationality, religion or socio-economic status.
• The incidence of Down syndrome in the United States is estimated to be 1 in every 800 – 1,000 live births.
• Of all children born in this country annually, approximately 5,000 will have Down syndrome.
• There are approximately 1/4 million families in the United States affected by Down syndrome.
Chances are, you know someone who either has Down Syndrome or someone who loves someone with Down Syndrome. To help show your support for those you love, visit the events page to find out what you can do in your area to advocate for the people of this syndrome.