LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -- - The Down Syndrome Association of La Crosse held an event to celebrate World Down Syndrome, taking place on March 21.
Organizers and parents said they want to educate the public about those with Down syndrome and how important acceptance and inclusion are in their lives.
"This function is for everybody so that everyone can see just how wonderful these kids and adults are," said Kimberly Grosskopf, Down Syndrome Association of La Crosse event coordinator.
Organizers said March 21 was chosen because those who have Down syndrome are born with three copies of chromosome 21 in their DNA. (3/21)
However, volunteer Angela Frank said that Down syndrome is not what defines them.
"There's a few for bumps in the roads or a few more doctors appointments here and there," Frank said.
Frank has a son named Cooper who has Down syndrome. She said he loves to be active.
"He loves to dance, he likes to sing, he loves movies and loves playing on his iPad," Frank said. "He also loves his sister."
She said those are things that don't raise any eyebrows for a young child.
"He does everything any other child would do growing up for a 7-year-old," Frank said.
Frank said she knew her son was likely to come into the world with challenges.
"It didn't matter to me if he had Down syndrome or not," Frank said.
She said Cooper had some medical problems but he is now in school and doing just fine.
"We have been pretty lucky," Frank said.
Grosskopf said the community outreach has been breathtaking.
"It fills my heart and makes me want to cry," Grosskopf said.
She said it wasn't just those who have children.
"Most of the people that are here right now are just coming and asking if they can help," Grosskopf said.
Frank said events like this provide a connection.
"If I needed a suggestion or somewhere to go for a dentist or a doctor, or if you have an experience like, 'I don't sleep at night,' we all can run that stuff by each other," Frank said.
Grosskopf said it gives children like RubyAnne who has been a part of this her whole life ,a chance to live her passion: sports.
"I like tennis and baseball," RubyAnne said.
Grosskopf said these children can go on to accomplish amazing things.
"There's so many of them that go on to lead very successful lives," Grosskopf said. "These families are worth every ounce of energy that I have."
Those who would like to learn more, volunteer or donate to this cause can visit www.dsaw.org.
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