Continuing the medical and ethical legacy of Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation remains a world leader in research into Down syndrome and other genetic intellectual disabilities.
Dr. Lejeune knew very well that his discovery that Down syndrome was caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 had revealed two targets: one, a target for researchers to discover treatments to improve the lives of those living with genetic intellectual disabilities, and the other, a target for prenatal diagnosis which in the majority of cases leads to a difficult and painful decision to terminate the pregnancy. It was love for his patients, and this awareness, that inspired his professional achievement. It is the same love and awareness that motivates the mission of the Foundation that that was established to continue his work after his death.
We know that a “cure” for Down syndrome is unlikely, but the principle stated many years ago by Dr. Lejeune, that "the only way to save them is to 'cure' them" remains the guiding principle of the Foundation today. For the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, research is our most powerful form of advocacy. We believe that therapeutic treatments to improve the lives of those with Down syndrome and other genetic intellectual disabilities will provide hope to those living with Down syndrome, their families, and to those in the future that will receive an unexpected prenatal diagnosis.
We look forward to the day, that when upon receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome parents are also given the encouraging news that their child will develop typically, and have the same opportunities as their peers.