October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month!
This month advocates from around the world join together to spread awareness, and to encourage inclusion of individuals living with Down syndrome in our communities. It is a month to celebrate these special people's abilities and accomplishments, but also to highlighting their needs, and their future potential that is being unlocked by advances in medical research.
Parents and other advocates know that raising awareness about Down syndrome can be a challenge. Some have a sugar-coated perception of individuals with Down syndrome and consider them “perfectly adorable angels." But that attitude is countered on the other side by another misperception. That Down syndrome is a devastating disability that brings tremendous hardship and suffering to the individual and their family. Both are wrong. These stereotypes stand in the way of progress being made toward improving lives, giving appropriate human respect, and securing a meaningful place for children and adults with Down syndrome in our communities.
The real truth that parents intimately know is the fierce love they have for their child with Down syndrome. Perceptions medical professionals often have and pass on to patients following a prenatal test - perceptions formed only by looking at chromosomes - are far removed from the reality of the person to whom those chromosomes belong.
This quote of Dr. Jerome Lejeune is our metric for success and our motivator for all we do. We are so grateful to our friends and benefactors who make it possible for us to carry on the legacy of this great man by funding and conducting the highest level of cutting-edge research, by improving medical care, and by speaking out on behalf of those whose lives we strive to improve each day.
The Jerome Lejeune Foundation (France and the U.S.) was founded in 1996 to carry on the work of the legendary geneticist, Jerome Lejeune. Through its mission of research, care, and advocacy, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation serves those with Down syndrome and other genetic intellectual disabilities in a spirit of profound respect for their inherent human dignity, and that of all human persons.