Fundraiser to raise awareness for Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome SA (DSSA) will host a charity ride challenge to raise awareness and money for people living with the condition. At least 19 cyclists will take part in the #RIDE4DSSA charity ride challenge on Saturday in Centurion (Pretoria), Cape Town, Standerton (Mpumalanga) and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. The cyclists include accountants, business owners, sales reps, lecturers, engineers and doctors. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder usually associated with physical growth delays and intellectual disability, among other things. Ancella Ramjas, 56, the national executive director of DSSA, said the purpose of the ride was to "bring awareness to the public about the condition and the impact that Covid-19 has had on children with Down Syndrome."Sport is one of the ways of raising this awareness. The cyclists come from communities where very little is known about Down Syndrome... "Down Syndrome is close to my heart as I am a parent of a 23-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome. Through my personal journey with my daughter and by working with children and adults with Down Syndrome, I have seen their potential and the value they bring to society. Through the organisation we bring awareness of their condition and promote their rights to be fully included into their communities," Ramjas said. One of the cyclists, Johann Odendaal, 18, said he was "excited to be part of this great moment". "We will raise awareness and funds, so people can ask us how they can help," said Odendaal. Another cyclist, John James Sauer, 15, said he was involved in the ride because there was a pupil with Down Syndrome in his school. Ramjas said their target was to raise R10,000. "We welcome any amount and would like businesses to come on board. Many families rely on support in terms of education, nutrition and therapeutic services."With the lockdown and closing of special needs schools, all this came to an end with many families not having the resource tools needed to cope with their children at home. Our member organisations cannot open their centres to provide this support and we need the funds to send outreach co-ordinators to families' homes to deliver this support with the correct personal protective equipment," she added.

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