According to the US National Down Syndrome Society, most babies are born with 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent, but approximately 1 out of ever 700 babies born in the U.S. have an extra copy of chromosome 21, the most common cause of Down Syndrome. The extra chromosome affects the development of the body and brain, causing mental and physical challenges.
March 21, or 3-21, is a symbolic date to celebrate people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world. The date, 3-21 represents Trisomy 21, the medical term for Down syndrome, which is the third replication of the 21st chromosome.
First observed in 2006 by Down Syndrome International, March 21 was officially declared World Down Syndrome Day by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. Events all around the world happen on this day to raise awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome.
As part of the celebration around the world, people are encouraged to wear crazy socks. The crazy sock initiative was formed to get people talking and asking questions about Down Syndrome. The idea is to wear brightly colored, mismatched, long, printed socks — or even layer three socks, one for each chromosome. Why socks you ask? The striped long socks resemble chromosomes, and who doesn’t love a pair of crazy socks!?
So grab a pair of socks and join us as we tell the story to accept, respect and include those with Down syndrome in our communities.