Tuesday was a special day for many people around the globe. It was World Down Syndrome Day.
“They just bring so much joy to the world, and that our son has brought so much joy to our family, and really, I feel like he’s shown us how to show unconditional love to other people,” said John McKay of Redmond, who has a son with down syndrome.
Central Oregon celebrated World Down Syndrome Day at Cascade Lakes Brewing.
“The reason for that is actually really intentional,” said Central Oregon Disability Support Network Lead Program Coordinator Callie Kackley. “It’s three copies of the 21st chromosome, so March is the third month, and then the 21st is the 21st day of the year. So the three copies of the 21st chromosome are what is present in down’s syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21. So that is why we celebrate on 3-21 every year.”
Central Oregon Disability Support Network, a non-profit that helps support families with disabilities in eight rural counties in the state, hosted the event.
A dollar of every pint sold at the event went to disability programs.
“We wanted to come down here just to be with our community and our people and just celebrate our little ones who are just amazing, and we’re just so lucky to have that extra chromosome,” said Angie of Bend, who has a daughter with down syndrome.
Smiles, balloons, food, and drinks were part of the celebration, and so were unique socks.
“Chromosomes kind of look like socks, the squiggles do. And so because people with down syndrome have an extra copy of that 21st chromosome, we wear the funnest, most unique socks as a symbol to celebrate that we can celebrate all of our differences. And that’s what makes us beautiful and unique and that it’s something we can proudly display,” said Kackley.
According to the Central Oregon Disability Support Network, one-in-five people will experience disability in their lifetime.
“I have a daughter who has a disability, and for her to know that today is a day that everybody pauses to celebrate her uniqueness, I think, is really empowering,” said Kackely. “So I’m really grateful to be in a community that’s coming together to do this.”