Many people are aware of the term Down syndrome but they don’t know what it means or the difficulty it can bring to a family. Down syndrome is when a baby’s genetic code carries an extra chromosome. This chromosome alters development by causing common physical traits and some cognitive delays. The cause of Down syndrome is still unknown. However, with the advances and research in medical technology they are able to have longer life spans and integrate more easily into society. This week’s Friday Focus we caught up with the Down Syndrome Association of Southern Maryland to learn about how they help families and individuals with Down syndrome come together and the exciting event they host to help raise awareness!
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
A: We are a non-profit organization that supports families with a child with Down syndrome or person with D.S. We serve as an educational resource for the public about Down syndrome, provide information packets to new families and host monthly events for families such as bowling, picnics, miniature golf, swimming, Blue Crabs games, etc. We also provide camp scholarships for children, host play groups, increase awareness and advocate for persons with Down syndrome.
“One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common genetic condition. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.”
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A: It is a joy to bring families together who share many of the same interest and concerns and can provide the needed support for each other with others who truly understand.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Our biggest challenge is increasing volunteer support and corporate sponsorship for the Buddy Walk event.
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
A: Our biggest fundraiser event is our annual Buddy Walk. This year’s Buddy Walk will take place Sunday, October 2, 2016 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Gilbert Run Park in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Get involved and be inspired!
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
A: We are always looking for volunteers to help out throughout the year, as well as, during the Buddy Walk. Contact us through our website at www.dsasmd.org or through our Facebook page.