Local organization celebrating family, friends with Down syndrome
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Monday marked World Down Syndrome Day, a day that celebrates our friends and loved ones who have Down syndrome and raises public awareness.
The day, Mar. 21, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down syndrome.
A local organization called BUDS, or Bringing Up Down Syndrome, is providing resources, information, and personal experiences to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
BUDS is also highlighting the importance of raising awareness and practicing inclusion not only on World Down Syndrome Day but every day.
Andra Hunter Jiggetts, the Secretary of BUDS, says she has always been involved with a Down syndrome organization. She got involved with BUDS as soon as she moved to North Alabama.
“When my daughter was diagnosed about three weeks after she was born, I knew exactly what I needed to do: take care of my baby and find out everything I possibly could,” said Jiggetts.
According to Jiggetts, BUDS uses donations to create and give new parent packets to families with a child newly diagnosed with Down syndrome.
The organization says each year it gives up to $500 mini-grants for families who apply to assist them with medical expenses and adaptive equipment. They also host family events, including sensory-friendly movies and trips to trampoline parks and the Zoo.
“We are really, very keen on providing support for those who have relatives, children with Down Syndrome and special needs, and so, what’s important to us is that everyone is seen because for so long, some people simply haven’t been seen. When everyone is seen, everyone wins,” said Jiggetts.
On Saturday, Apr. 2, BUDS will have an event at the Hebert Family Tulips Farms in New Market. The Rocket City Buddy Walk is also coming up this fall in October.
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