The Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana and Gigi’s Playhouse are throwing a big celebration for World Down Syndrome Day on Wednesday.
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.
Wednesday, DSANI and Gigi’s are throwing a superhero themed party to celebrate the disorder and raise awareness. The event starts at 5 p.m. at Gigi’s Playhouse, 6081 North Clinton Street. The 2-hour event features music and games, a potato bar, cupcakes, a photo booth, and activities for all. The event is open to the public.
Spiderman is scheduled to make an appearance.
To help celebrate the day, the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge will be lit up in blue and yellow – the colors of Down syndrome awareness.
“We are so excited to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day with our community,” said Shelley Yoder, Executive Director of DSANI. “We are inspired by the determination, enthusiasm and joy that our loved ones with Down syndrome bring to their friends and families every day. We strive to share and celebrate the abilities and accomplishments of our loved ones with our entire community – as they have much to contribute to the cities, towns and areas in which they are important and valued members.”
Wednesday, 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.
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.