LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's the 14th annual 'Step Up For Down Syndrome' Walk!
The event hosted by Southwest Louisiana's Up4Downs organization will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Prien Lake Park in Lake Charles.
The walk is an opportunity for local Down syndrome families to get together, raise awareness and fellowship.
The organization hopes to support Down syndrome families and individuals who may need it as well as educate those who would like to learn more about what it means to have an extra chromosome.
"In the beginning, it was hard because of the unknown and the fears, and you think of all the stereotypes and all of the sudden the clouds begin to part, and the sun comes out and you start to realize, this is no big deal, he's just like any other child. It has its challenges just like any other child but I wouldn't say it's any harder," said Melanie Sarro, president of Southwest Louisiana's Up4Downs organization, who has a son with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Today, the national Down syndrome society estimates that there are about 400,000 people with Down syndrome living in the country.