Mid-South families, mayors celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Mid-South families, mayors celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - March 21, or 3-21, is World Down Syndrome Day, chosen to symbolize the third copy of chromosome 21 in Trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell was one of many area mayors who met with families through the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South.

"The mayors were able to hear about what they are doing and learn about the many abilities of individuals with Down syndrome," said DSAM Executive Director Martine Hobson.

Mayor Luttrell presented a proclamation and families gave him a certificate of appreciation for his support.

Afterwards, families walked across the downtown plaza and met with City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

The topic of discussion focused on inclusion.

"When you have special days like this it counts as a reminder and a challenge that we need to be more inclusive," said Mayor Strickland.

Mayor Strickland said he was pleased to learn how more local businesses are incorporating job opportunities for people with disabilities.

Using the hashtag #LotsOfSocks, people around the world joined the celebration and wore colorful socks to help raise awareness.

One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome, and advocates said it is important to recognize we are more alike than different.

"Down syndrome is not a paralyzing illness that prevents people from contributing," said Mayor Luttrell. "We have some great people contributing in many many different ways, academically and professionally."

For more information or to partner with DSAM visit their website here.

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