John’s Crazy Socks is back in the news

Did you watch Fox News last night? John’s Crazy Socks was featured on Martha MacCallum’s Great Story show. President George H.W. Bush wore a pair of John’s Crazy Socks at Barbara Bush’s funeral. The socks were covered with images of books and lifted up the First Lady’s passion for literacy.  As noted  in an earlier post,  22-year-old John Cronin was born with Down Syndrome. On his 21st birthday John and his dad, Mark, joined together to form what is now a multi-million dollar online business, selling all kinds of colorful, crazy socks.

The Cronins were featured earlier on Fox’s morning show. In the interview John pointed out that his company features a pair of socks with the significant number 21. Profits from these socks go to support Down Syndrome Day and  the Down Syndrome Foundation. The company also donates 5% of the profits to Special Olympics. They make it a point to hire people with disabilities to work in their company. And they go out of their way to encourage people with disabilities to follow their example.

The Down Syndrome Foundation

The Down Syndrome Foundation was founded in 2000 by a group of parents who wanted to develop a camp for young adults with Down syndrome. The sole purpose of the Down Syndrome Foundation is to support the Down Syndrome Camp. The Board of Directors are all volunteers and have a passion in offering a quality, safe, memorable camp experience. All funding from the Down Syndrome Foundation goes directly towards the benefit of operating the Down Syndrome Camp.

The Down Syndrome Camp is held at Camp Knutson, an American Camping Association accredited camp  in Crosslake, MN. This non-denominational facility is a service of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.

Down syndrome is the most common cause of mental retardation and malformation in a newborn.

Down Syndrome occurs because of the presence of an extra copy of a chromosome – chromosome 21 to be exact.  Chromosomes are the units of genetic information that exist within every cell of the body. Twenty-three distinctive pairs, or 46 total chromosomes, are located within the nucleus (central structure) of each cell. When a baby is conceived by the combining of one sperm cell with one egg cell, the baby receives 23 chromosomes from each parent, for a total of 46 chromosomes. Sometimes, an accident in the production of a sperm or egg cell causes that cell to contain 24 chromosomes. This event is referred to as nondisjunction. When this defective cell is involved in the conception of a baby, that baby will have a total of 47 chromosomes. The extra chromosome in Down syndrome is labeled number 21. For this reason, the existence of three such chromosomes is sometimes referred to as Trisomy 21. The person with the extra chromosome develops differently than others. The chromosome limits their cognitive development.

While the syndrome is relatively common in the U.S., the exact reason babies are born with an extra chromosome is not known. However, those with Down syndrome may be able to live a better quality of life with the right interventions early on.

Here are six things to know about Down syndrome

 

1. It’s The Most Common Chromosomal Condition
2. It’s the Least Funded Genetic Condition
3. Risk Increases With Maternal Age
4. Leukemia is More Common in Down Syndrome Patients
5. Life Expectancy is Improving
6. Patients are Living Fuller Lives

Our country has come a long way

Consider that a bill was passed by the 1905 Pennsylvania for the prevention of idiocy. The bill said that individuals deemed mentally ill or disabled, residing in institutions for at least one year, could be sterilized if their condition was thought to be hereditary. They wanted to make certain the idiots did not give birth to more idiot children.

We each can do much to encourage much needed support of the intellectually disabled by becoming better informed and by supporting positive activities like Special Olympics and the Down Syndrome Camp.