35W Bridge to be illuminated for World Down Syndrome Day

The Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis will be illuminated with royal blue and yellow lighting Sunday in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAMN) requested the bridge be illuminated to signify the international awareness day, which has been observed annually since 2012.

According to the DSAMN, the pandemic has been particularly difficult for Minnesotans with Down syndrome. According to a recent study conducted by Emory University, 40-year-olds with down syndrome face the same COVID-19 risk as 70-year-olds. Additionally, those with Down syndrome — particularly those 40 and older — are three to 10 times as likely to die from COVID-19 compared with the general population.

"We are so grateful that many of the roughly 2,000 adults with Down syndrome in our state have received the vaccine," Sarah Curfman, executive director of DSAMN, said in a statement. "This year on World Down Syndrome Day, we are giving thanks for the perseverance and strength of Minnesotans with Down syndrome and their loved ones whose dedication and love helped them through this difficult time. And we are looking forward to brighter days ahead."

Learn more about virtual events to recognize World Down Syndrome Day via DSAMN’s Facebook page.