Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Today’s special date was chosen as World Down Syndrome Day for its symbolism — the numbers 3 and 21 represent ”the third copy of chromosome 21 present in Trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome.” According to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS.org), “this additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.” The NDSS Down Syndrome Fact Sheet also reveals that 1 in every 691 babies in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome, and there are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in our country.
Although World Down Syndrome Day was established by Down Syndrome International in 2006 to encourage worldwide awareness about Down syndrome issues, this is the first official year the United Nations will be observing it. To honor this day, NDSS.org is highlighting the My Great Story campaign, a monthly column that now features over 400 inspiring true stories by and about people with Down syndrome. You can watch a 30-second video featuring actor Chris Burke, who played Corky on the series “Life Goes On” and who is the NDSS Goodwill Ambassador, talking about the campaign. (Fun fact: Chris Burke is also the uncle of Parents magazine’s Senior Health Editor.)
Join in increasing Down syndrome awareness today and every day. You can read 21 Facts About Down Syndrome, click on the jump below to read a Preferred Language Guide, and tweet on Twitter using the #321 hashtag.
More features about Down syndrome on Parents.com
- What You Can’t Tell About My Child with Down Syndrome
- Lessons I Learned from My Daughter, Penny
- Raising a Child with Down Syndrome: Advice and Resources