October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and DP Air’s Tucson Branch shows their support by donating to the annual Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome (SANDS) Walk. The walk is the primary fundraiser and awareness-building event for SANDS. SANDS mission is to improve and enrich the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and to promote public awareness.

Mandy, from our Tucson Branch wrote the following: “I helped get this wonderful organization up and running by volunteering as the Treasurer many years ago. Some people ask me why I am so passionate about this event, my answer is… because of this guy!”

Down syndrome
This is Mandy’s son Joey and he has Down syndrome.

What is Down syndrome?

In every cell in the human body, there is a nucleus, where genetic material is stored in genes. Genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. No one really knows why this happens.

It is the most common chromosomal condition and approximately 1 in 700 babies in the US are born with it.

How does Down syndrome affect a person?

It affects individuals differently. Sure, there are facial similarities but they also say it causes low muscle tone and small stature but Joey is 5’10” and very strong! Everyone learns differently but with a nurturing environment and inclusion, individuals with Down syndrome will always learn more. Joey has difficulty with expressive speech, but he understands every word you say! Some of Joey’s friends are great athletes, while some of them can read and write. The old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” couldn’t be more accurate when working with people with Down syndrome.

What is daily life like with Down syndrome?
Mostly like yours! Joey goes to work every day at a work facility here in Tucson. He loves his job, his coworkers, and most of all – his paycheck!

So, you see – individuals with Down syndrome are just like you and me in so many ways. They work, they love, they play and they party!
Please join in with helping DP Air spread awareness and acceptance of all individuals.
Joey and his friends thank you!

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