The historic Drumthwacket residence in Princeton, NJ will be illuminated in blue the evening of Monday March 21 to officially launch Light the Way, a national campaign designed to increase awareness of Down Syndrome cognitive research, New jersey's First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today. First spouses in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin are also participating in the initiative in their own ways.
“I am so pleased to be a part of the Light the Way campaign,” said Mrs. Christie. “Individuals with intellectual disabilities face some very complex issues. The efforts of Research Down Syndrome (RDS) are funding vital research and increasing opportunities for those with Down Syndrome while providing inspiration and empowerment to reach their full potential.”
The Light the Way campaign is being officially launched on World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, 2011. It supports RDS’ efforts to educate and increase awareness and funding for Down Syndrome cognitive research.New developments in the area bring the promise of biomedical therapies for improving memory, learning and communications, which will help individuals with Down Syndrome live healthier, more active lives. Down Syndrome is the most common chromosomal anomaly in humans, the result of having 47 chromosomes instead of 46. The presence of extra genetic material is typically associated with delays in physical and intellectual development that usually range from mild to moderate in nature. An estimated three million people worldwide have Down Syndrome, including approximately 400,000 in the United States. Life expectancy for people with Down Syndrome has more than doubled in the past twenty five years and now averages 55 to 60 years.