Walk to aid Down Syndrome children

The event, organised by All 4 Down Syndrome Dubai, is in its sixth year.

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DUBAI // Hundreds of people walked around Safa Park yesterday to raise awareness about Down Syndrome.

The event, organised by the All 4 Down Syndrome Dubai group, is now in its sixth year and more than 500 people took part.

"The whole event is to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and to show people that people with this condition can contribute to society," said Rebecca Corley, one of the group's founders.

"The amount of progress we have made in terms of educating people about Down Syndrome children in this country over the past 10 years has been amazing, but there is a still a long way to go."

Mrs Corley, whose 13-year-old daughter has Down Syndrome and is mainstreamed in school, said the group was thankful for the help and support provided by businesses and organisations.

"We have about 25 children with Down Syndrome in mainstream schools now and the awareness of the condition is a lot better than it used to be but we still have much to do.

"This kind of event is crucial in building on the awareness that is already there," she said.

"We rely heavily on the generosity of people to give up their time and help us because without it we wouldn't be able to continue."

About 100 families registered for the walk online but more turned up on the day to show their support. "That is one of the great things about the event," said Sally Pearson, who coordinated the group for ages 12 and up.

"We tend to find people who are usually out at Safa Park get curious when they see all these other people taking part, and they join in."

The walk marked World Down Syndrome Day, which is on March 21, Wednesday.

The date makes note of the alternate name for the syndrome, trisomy 21. The disease is caused by extra genetic material in the 21st chromosome.