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Down syndrome day reminds Hoosier families there is support

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – People across the state are celebrating World Down Syndrome Day by raising money and raising awareness.

Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition in the U.S. with about 5,000 babies born with it each year.

But advocates say there are still too many families overcome with fear when that happens. That’s why Down Syndrome Indiana is doing all it can on this day to change that.

At their downtown offices, employees are busy raising money to provide resources to Hoosier families impacted by Down syndrome.

Every few hours, Kirsten Davenport goes live on Facebook to spread awareness. Her younger sister has Down syndrome and she remembers how her family faced challenges right from the start.

“My family members didn’t want to hold her, because they were afraid they would get Down syndrome. And that`s just a lack of awareness and a lack of not knowing,” she said. “She’s a normal 15-year-old! We share clothes, we fight over the phone charger, she`s in makeup, we talk about boys. So, she’s just normal.”

The group has already raised $3,000 of their $21,000 goal and they hope to reach the rest by May.

The money will help provide support and services to Hoosier families who just had a baby with Down syndrome and those who are raising kids with the genetic disease.

“We go to the buddy walk. And we go to the Christmas party,” said Davenport. “It’s about being around other people that understand you.”

To donate, you can visit Down Syndrome Indiana at their Facebook page and click ‘Donate’.