People in Fort Wayne celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Every year, March 21st is observed as World Down Syndrome Day. That's because people are celebrating the 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome, which is a genetic occurrence common in people with Trisomy 21.

Posted: Mar 21, 2018 9:30 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2018 9:32 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Every year, March 21st is observed as World Down Syndrome Day. That's because people are celebrating the 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome, which is a genetic occurrence common in people with Trisomy 21. That's the most common form of Down syndrome.

"I love that it's a chance for us as a community to come together and celebrate the fact that we're the lucky few having loved ones with Down syndrome," said parent Annie Miller.

Miller has a 3-year-old son with Down syndrome, and says World Down Syndrome Day means a lot to her.

"I would love for the community to not minimize who they are as people and to celebrate them."

The Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana and GiGi's Playhouse in Fort Wayne hosted the celebration and hopes to raise awareness within the community.

"Many people aren't aware of how capable people with down syndrome are so it's our goal to kind of just keep showing them just that," said DSANI Executive Director Shelley Yoder.

The super-hero themed event included a photo booth and games for people of all ages.

"This is probably one of the better years we've had. This is the 3rd time we've hosted it because we just opened up in January 2016. Every year it keeps getting bigger and better and maybe next year we may have to move it," said Gigi's Playhouse Executive Director Holly Tonak.

Yoder says it's important for people to know that people with Down syndrome are just like anybody else.

"If someone is thinking of hiring an individual with down syndrome, you may have to show them how to do a task 1 or 2 times, you may have to show them 9 or 10 times but when they have that task, they will not forget it. What you get out of that is the most loyal, hard-working employee you've ever had."

The City of Fort Wayne is also celebrating, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge is lit in blue and yellow colors until dawn.

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