The Popcorn Stand: Dream on. Marisa. Dream on. | NevadaAppeal.com

The Popcorn Stand: Dream on. Marisa. Dream on.

Marisa Servantes really loves to sing “Dream On.” And she can belt it out with the best of them, especially on that really high “Dream On” part.

I know Marisa Servantes. She has Down syndrome. But I don’t see her as someone who has a disability. Not in any way, shape or form.

World Down Syndrome Day is Thursday. On Thursday, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world will organize and participate in events to raise public awareness and to advocate for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.

What I find so cool about this day is people can wear the funkiest, craziest socks they have to show their support for those with Down syndrome. So if you see somebody wearing some pretty cool, crazy, funky socks on Thursday, chances are they’re supporting people with Down syndrome.

Marisa Servantes will be wearing her crazy, funky socks on Thursday. And so will her mother, Esther Avila, who just happens to be my best friend.

Many involved in helping those with Down syndrome provide crazy socks to those who want to join the cause for a donation and donate the funds to such organizations as the National Down Syndrome Society and the Association for Children with Down Syndrome.

March 21, or 3-21, is chosen as the date to celebrate people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world because it’s a symbolic date that represents what causes Down syndrome. Trisomy 21, the medical term for Down syndrome, is caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21, so therefore, 3-21. Most of us only have two copies of chromosome 21.

So at least one day a year when I put on socks that don’t match, I have an excuse. A really good excuse.

Dream on. Marisa. Dream on.

— Charles Whisnand