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Lisa Ghany, left,director Down Syndrome Family Network (DSFN), Tyrese Niles and Glen Niles Chairman DSFN.

Celebrate October with the Down Syndrome Family Network (DSFN).

October is one of the network’s favourite months of the year!

In the 1980s, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), DSFN’s affiliate in the USA worked to have October proclaimed “Down Syndrome Awareness Month,” or DSAM and this designation continues today.

DSFN’s Director Lisa Ghany explained to Guardian Media that October is a month to raise awareness and celebrate the many abilities of those with Down syndrome.

“DSAM seeks to break down barriers and focus on promoting advocacy for people with Down syndrome. DSFN celebrates October each year and we invite you to get involved and spread the word. Use #DownSyndromeAwarenessMonth #buddywalkrunorwalkyourway to post on social media, and don’t forget to tag DSFN so we can share your post!” Ghany said.

Ghany has requested for all citizens to join the DSFN during this time to support the Buddywalk which takes place from October 3 to November 30.

To register, just visit the website www.bafasport.com/buddywalk2021.

“Run, walk, and advocate for the Human Rights of persons with Down Syndrome,” Ghany added.

What is Down Syndrome?

According to the NDSS, 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.

This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.

A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the centre of the palm – although each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.