March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. The day has been around since 2006 but was first officially observed in 2012. The goal is to raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have it, and how people with it play vital roles in our communities.
March 21 or 3-21 signifies the three copies of the 21st chromosome which is a genetic occurrence common in people with Trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome
Thursday, mismatched socks also help raise awareness about Down syndrome. Organizations encourage everyone to wear brightly colored socks that signify the extra chromosome that people with Down syndrome usually carry.
The Down syndrome association of northeast Indiana (DSANI) and Gigi’s Playhouse of Fort Wayne will be hosting a sock hop at the Fort Wayne Ballroom Dance Company (1559 W. Dupont Rd) on Thursday, March 21st, 2019. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. According to DSANI, “There will be dancing (in your crazy socks, of course), light refreshments and lots of fun!”
To help celebrate the day, the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge in Fort Wayne will be lit up in blue and yellow, the colors of Down syndrome awareness, from one hour before dusk on Thursday until dawn on Friday.
Down syndrome is associated with distinct facial features, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, and may be associated with thyroid or heart disease.
But many people with the disorder are able to lead productive lives. Most children with Down syndrome attend regular schools and 20 percent of adults are able to occupy paying jobs.
Down syndrome is diagnosed in 1 per 1,000 babies each year, resulting in approximately 200,000 new cases each year in the United States. More than 5 million people in the U.S. have Down syndrome.