Mums raise needed funds

TWO local mums have created awareness for the T4321 World Down Syndrome Day.

Sonia Sarkis and Anne-Marie Lavorato organised a charity lunch at Grano Restaurant in Wetherill Park to raise money for the Down Syndrome NSW Organisation on Tuesday.

Sonia Sarkis has three children and her youngest, two-year-old Christian was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

"Being told he had Down Syndrome meant nothing to me; Christian is no different to my other children," she said. "He may not be as fully developed as other typically developed children but that's totally fine by me.

"I wouldn't change Christian, he was given to me as a gift from God and I shall accept it with open arms."

More than 60 people attended the fund-raising lunch.

"I'd like to thank everyone for coming to the fundraising event and for their donations and the local businesses who have generously donated prizes," Mrs Lavorato said.

"Down syndrome is the world's most common chromosomal disorder and cause of intellectual disability.

"It is not an illness or disease and occurs at conception. It occurs in one of every 700 to 900 births worldwide and affects people of all ethnic and social backgrounds."

Mrs Lavorato said the syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome.

"People with Down syndrome therefore have 47 chromosomes in their cells instead of 46," she said.

She hoped the event would raise a total of $3000.

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