Down Syndrome Awareness
Our Down Syndrome Awareness medals for this virtual race are 3.5″ in size. The medal is in the shape of a heart with a translucent DNA strand section.
What is Down Syndrome?
In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus, where genetic material is stored in genes. Genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. Therefore it is not a disease, disorder, defect or medical condition. It does not require either treatment or prevention.
This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical traits are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm – although each person is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.
One in every 691 babies in the United States and one in 781 births in Canada are born with Down syndrome, making it the most common genetic condition.