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Down Syndrome Celebration

By Natalie Sierra

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - The Down Syndrome Association of Orange County held its annual celebration at Pacific City in Huntington Beach for World Down Syndrome Day. Tides of Kindness clothing line owner Caley Versfelt said community support is strong.

“I love seeing everyone looking at us–for us–before our disability. We can be accepted for who we are, and we just love that,” Versfelt said.

Photo credit: Natalie Sierra

Down Syndrome is a result of an extra copy of a person’s 21st chromosome. The medical term for the additional chromosome is “trisomy.” It changes how the body and brain develop and causes mental and physical challenges for the person.

The Down Syndrome Association’s Keya Gupta said this is the biggest turn out they’ve ever had at Pacific City.

“This is our very first in person event after the pandemic,” she said. “And so, I think people just really wanted to get out of the house and really just celebrate their loved ones.”

The event sold clothing designed by people with Down Syndrome and it showcased dance groups. Sean Levendoski’s sister performed in the “Down for Dance” group. He says people with Down Syndrome deserve society’s respect.

“Too many people go around, like judging them and saying really derogatory terms,” he said. “They’re some of the purest souls on earth. They’re like gifts from God.”

Every year, around 6,000 babies are born with down syndrome. There are three types of down syndrome. They include Trisomy 21, Translocation Down Syndrome and Mosaic Down Syndrome. About 95 percent of people with Down Syndrome have Trisomy 21.

World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated every year on March 21st to signify the triplication of the 21st chromosome.

Video credit: Natalie Sierra

By Natalie Sierra

Contributions from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down Syndrome Association

Video credit: Natalie Sierra

Photo credit: Natalie Sierra


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