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WHEREAS, Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of genetic material from chromosome 21; and
WHEREAS, Down syndrome causes a distinct facial appearance, intellectual disability, developmental delays, and may be associated with gastrointestinal or heart defects; and
WHEREAS, when children and adults with Down syndrome and other disabilities are given opportunities to participate, all children benefit from this shared environment; and
WHEREAS, on December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 21st as World Down Syndrome Day; and
WHEREAS, this year’s theme, “#WhatIBringToMyCommunity,” represents how individuals with Down syndrome can and do make meaningful contributions throughout their lives to their schools, workplaces, and communities; and
WHEREAS, World Down Syndrome Day is an opportunity to enhance public education and awareness about Down syndrome;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 21, 2018, as WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.