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World Down Syndrome Day – Rock Your Socks 2017

World Down Syndrome Day – Rock Your Socks 2017

On Tuesday, March 21st, people across the globe will come together within their communities, families and over social media to celebrate those with Down syndrome, for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). First recognized in 2006, WDSD is now celebrated around the world and has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. To help highlight this day, ‘Rock Your Socks’ is an awareness campaign that encourages people to wear their brightest, most colourful socks to show their support for those with Down syndrome. It is a campaign that has taken over social media and in Windsor, Ontario, Stephanie Seguin has been an engaging, vocal supporter (and promoter) of Rock Your Socks 2017, spreading awareness how the Windsor community can get involved.

World Down Syndrome Day - Rock Your Socks 2017
Hazel and I, she’s on my lap while I show her my Rockin Socks for WDSD March 21st.

And on Monday March 20th – the day before World Down Syndrome Day – Stephanie joined with her husband, Matt, and their two adorable children, Hazel and Nola in welcoming a jam packed gathering in the banquet room at Central Park Athletics for the unveiling of The Chasing Hazel Foundation.

Inspired by their own daughter Hazel, born with Down syndrome, the Seguins decided to create a foundation which would focus on children and their families through multiple facets such as providing support by offering playgroups specifically developed for children aged 0-12, as well as helping with financial assistance (to medically fragile situations). The Seguins hope the foundation will not only help families in the Down syndrome community, but will also strengthen the Windsor community as whole by bringing together its citizens to promote inclusion.

Through direct experiences, the Seguin’s are familiar with unexpected costs which arise when having a child with Down syndrome. Hazel Seguin was born with DS and under the age of six-months, had two serious medical procedures – only offered out of town. Having experienced financial and emotional burdens that can be placed on families in these situations, Stephanie Seguin hopes, “With this Foundation, it will allow families to focus on what is important in a challenging, stressful time and that is the well-being of their child, not financial burdens.”

In 2012, Stephanie Seguin was inspired to share her experiences being a mother to a daughter with Down syndrome through writing and so, created the blog Chasing Hazel. Over four years, Stephanie and her husband Matt have been committed to dispelling misconceptions related to Down syndrome and have openly chronicled the highs (and lows) of their day-to-day experience.

Chasing Hazel will be rocking their socks at St. Clair College from 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. Show your support for WDSD by visiting ChasingHazel for a detailed package which includes information and ideas on ways you can participate.

 

Learn more about World Down Syndrome Day here or you can contact Stephanie Seguin (519) 816-3426. (and watch for my article in the May issue of Biz X magazine devoted to Down Syndrome.)

Feature photo: Five year old Hazel in her dad’s arms (Matthew) and her three year old sister Nola with her mother Stephanie.