Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Prom King with Down Syndrome Goes to College

Zach Wincent
(CNN) -- Marget Wincent has never met Sarah Palin, but she hopes the Republican vice presidential candidate will respond to her recent e-mail. Wincent said she encouraged Palin, whose son Trig has Down syndrome, to "get that little guy on skates when he's a couple years old, and enjoy those snowmobile rides."

"Sometimes you're scared as a parent, and you wonder if your child is going to be able to do this and this and this," Wincent said recently. "And you know what? You just go out and try it, and you live each day at a time, and you celebrate all the great things that happen."

Wincent's own son Zach, now 19, also has Down syndrome. But the genetic disorder, which causes intellectual disabilities and other difficulties, has not prevented "Zach Attack" from enrolling in community college, climbing the Great Wall of China, coaching hockey games or becoming Prom king in high school.

As many as 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year in the United States, according to People with Down syndrome have extra genetic material from the 21st chromosome, the result of abnormal cell division during development.

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