Famous connections to Down syndrome

4:31 PM, Sep 28, 2010   |    comments
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They will be joining hundreds of others to raise awareness and raise money for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

Established in 2009, the foundation's primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down syndrome on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

The celebrities will be here for the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Jet Set Fashion Show features models with Down syndrome, honoring their beauty and brilliance. You can learn more about ticket information and much more by going to www.coloradojetset.com.

This institute is the first organization in the U.S. with the mission to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with Down syndrome through basic and clinical research and through clinical care.

Down syndrome, or Trisomy 21, is a condition where there are three copies of the 21st chromosome instead of two. It is the most frequently occurring chromosomal condition, affecting approximately 1 in every 733 births in the United States.

More than 400,000 people in the U.S. and an estimated 6,000 people in Colorado have Down syndrome.

While Down syndrome probability increases with advanced age in mothers, 80 percent of children who have Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35. Many people don't realize that 30 to 50 percent of all children born with Down syndrome will have a congenital heart defect and upwards of 50 percent will experience the early onset of Alzheimer's.

Twenty years ago, the life expectancy of someone affected by Down syndrome was 20 years. Today, the life expectancy is approximately 55 years of age and increasing.

Children and adults with Down syndrome can read and are gifted visual learners. They have many learning strengths that are all too often overlooked. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation hopes to highlight these gifts, while raising awareness about the unique, and sometimes heart-wrenching, challenges that people with Down syndrome and their family members face

To learn more about the Linda Crnic Institute go to http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/institutes/lindacrnic/Pages/lindacrnic.aspx/crnicbio.htm.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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