WHY WE WALK

Hope for tomorrow for children with trisomy 21

Children born with Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, often face an uncertain future. The chromosomal abnormality, which affects about 5,000 babies born each year, puts children at greater risk for chronic and life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, bone deformities, neurological, gastrointestinal and endocrine disorders, as well as feeding and developmental disabilities.

At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), these children are cared for by the Trisomy 21 Program, an innovative, multidisciplinary program that began in 2003 to provide and coordinate care for children with this complex disorder. Unlike most programs at Children’s Hospital, individuals with Down syndrome can remain patients throughout adulthood.

CHOP’s Trisomy 21 Program — which cares for more than 1,200 children and 300 adults annually — would not exist as it does today without the tremendous support of the CHOP Buddy Walk & Family Fun Day. Now in its 16th year, the CHOP Buddy Walk has raised more than $2.9 million for Down syndrome research and services at Children’s Hospital.

“The Trisomy 21 Program has continued to flourish because of both the funds raised and the continued enthusiastic spirit of the families and friends who support our children and adults with Down syndrome each year.”

— Mary Pipan, MD, Director of CHOP’s Trisomy 21 Program

How Your Support Helps

By participating in the CHOP Buddy Walk, raising funds or donating to the event, you are supporting:

  • Ongoing clinical care and coordination for individuals with Down syndrome and their families
  • New assessment tools to identify potential issues and intervene early
  • Continuing education for families, medical providers and community members
  • Transformational research to improve the quality — and quantity — of life for individuals with Down syndrome

With your support, babies born with Down syndrome can experience the many joys of childhood — and flourish in adulthood.