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Down syndrome

Here's why 'Donate 21' keeps popping up on your Twitter feed

It’s for a very good cause.

YOU MIGHT HAVE seen #DONATE21 pop up on your Twitter feed a lot in the last 24 hours.

The hashtag is part of a four-day campaign which hopes to raise awareness of, and dispel myths about, Down syndrome.

Liam Caseiro Liam Caseiro from Santry Declan Masterson Photography via the Down Syndrome Centre Declan Masterson Photography via the Down Syndrome Centre

Since yesterday, Twitter users have signed up to allow 21 tweets with positive messages about Down syndrome to be sent from their profiles.

The campaign will run until Saturday – the 10th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. 21 March was chosen as it signifies the triplication of the 21st chromosome (3, 21) which causes Down syndrome.

The initiative has been organised by the Down Syndrome Centre and the Brando advertising agency. Once people sign up, tweets will be sent from their account every hour for 21 hours.

Niamh Doyle, the centre’s communications and fundraising manager, said the campaign provides “the perfect opportunity for the public to lend their voice of support to people with Down syndrome”.

Joshua & Triona Joshua and Triona Cussen from Donabate Conor_Healy_Photography via the Down Syndrome Centre Conor_Healy_Photography via the Down Syndrome Centre

Doyle said the centre, which began running last October, focuses on “ability and positive reinforcement of everything that a child with Down syndrome can do”.

She noted that children with the condition have a “delay” rather than a “disorder”.

They might not walk as fast, they might not speak as early, but they will get there.

Doyle said that in the last 20 years Irish society has “opened up a lot more”, adding: “What a child [with Down syndrome] can do now is unbelievable.”

For more information on the campaign or to donate to the centre, click here.

The Down Syndrome Centre / YouTube

The Down Syndrome Centre runs a number of programmes, including speech and language classes, occupational therapy, a parent-and-toddler group, baby massage, and seminars.

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