Thousands of people flocked to SM North EDSA today to be part of the 2015 Happy Walk for Down Syndrome. The event is a project of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines Inc. (DSAPI) in partnership with SM Cares, to raise awareness and appreciation for persons with Down Syndrome.
According to DSAPI, down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been part of the human condition, universally present across racial, gender or socioeconomic lines. It usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues. The group also shared that one in every 800 births; 1,875 cases a year; more than 100,000 affected families.
Over a decade ago, February was dubbed as Down Syndrome Consciousness Month to make more Filipinos aware of the condition. In support, DSAPI and SM Cares Program on Disability Affairs came up with Happy Walk, a day-long program that not only raises much-needed awareness for down syndrome patients, but showcases their talents and triumphs.
The occasion started with a mass held at SM The Block. This was then followed by a parade led by SM Prime Holdings President Hans T. Sy who walked with down syndrome patients, parents, DSAPI members and advocates who were cheered on by staff of the many establishments in SM North EDSA. Mall goers also celebrated in the event as different marching bands and mascot added color to the festivities.
In the program held at SM North Skydome, DSAPI president Elmer Lapena and SM Cares Program on Disability Affairs head Engr. Bien Mateo looked back at what they had accomplished in 2014 and gave the latest information on the state of down syndrome in the Philippines. To get news and updates about similar events and initiatives, just like www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares.