March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, in honor of the three sets of chromosome 21 those with Down syndrome have.
On that day, the City Hall and Capitol buildings will be lit up in the colors of blue and yellow for World Down Syndrome Day.
Michelle Whitten, CEO of Global Down Syndrome Foundation, said the foundation will be celebrating with the governor starting at 9:30 a.m., and the public is welcome to attend. There will be a petition on hand for party goers to sign, aiming to get signatures for more research funding into Down syndrome.
The petition got its start at Stanley British Primary School. Sophia Whitten, a young girl with Down syndrome, said she had asked her teacher if the school could do their part to help with research, and he said yes. She and her classmates have been asking people in their neighborhood to sign it.
“A lot going on to try to bolster funding and support for people with Down syndrome,” Whitten said. “They deserve it, yet they’re so very discriminated against.”
It’s one of the more common genetic conditions and least funded, said Addie Boyer, one of Sophia's classmates who helped with the petition.
“People with Down syndrome are more alike than different with us,” Boyer said.
There will be also an announcement of who will receive various research grants from the foundation, totaling $1 million in funding.
It’s not just in Denver that there will be celebrating, with the “World” part of World Down Syndrome Day is very applicable as 90-something countries are taking part, Whitten said. Of particular note is Uganda, which will be launching some things that will be “propping up” the Down syndrome association there.
If you can’t make it to the event, the petition is also at www.globaldownsyndrome.org.