Down syndrome consciousness video at Instances Sq. will embody Salem boy

Down syndrome awareness video at Times Square will include Salem boy

Prince Hernandez-Sotelo, a 6-year-old from West Salem, will get his 5 seconds of fame subsequent month within the coronary heart of New York Metropolis.

A photograph of him ready for the varsity bus might be amongst 500 featured in a Sept. 12 video presentation for Down syndrome consciousness on the 350-foot-tall LED show of the well-known triangular tower in Instances Sq..

He’ll be house watching that Saturday morning along with his mother when the video is live-streamed on social media channels of the Nationwide Down Syndrome Society.

The group creates a particular video yearly highlighting kids, teenagers and adults with Down syndrome working, taking part in and studying alongside family and friends. The disclosing kicks off New York Metropolis’s annual Buddy Stroll, which might be held just about this 12 months because of COVID-19, and Down Syndrome Consciousness Month in October.

The collective photos within the nationwide video assist promote acceptance and inclusion, the muse of the Nationwide Down Syndrome Society and the Nationwide Buddy Stroll.

Buddy Stroll occasions might be held just about throughout the nation and globe, together with right here in Oregon. Down Syndrome Community Oregon can have its 18th annual (and first digital) Buddy Stroll on Sunday, Sept. 13.

Almost 700 images have been submitted for the 2020 Instances Sq. Video contest, a less-than-normal response amid the pandemic. Final 12 months’s contest drew greater than 3,000 photograph submissions and the 12 months earlier than greater than 2,500.

The movies are typically finished in slide-show format, highlighting every particular person for about 5 seconds and zooming in on a few of them.

Discovering Down syndrome assets

The photograph of Prince was captured by his mother, Maria Sotelo, whereas he was ready for the bus final 12 months on his first day of kindergarten at Harritt Elementary Faculty. He is carrying his backpack and peeking out from behind a tree with an enormous grin on his face.

“To me, that reveals his character,” Sotelo mentioned. “He is actually foolish and likes to make folks snicker.”

Sotelo found the Instances Sq. Video contest simply earlier than the mid-summer deadline to enter whereas visiting the Nationwide Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) web site to see what assets the group gives.

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NDSS trains and educates dad and mom and others to advocate on the native, state and nationwide ranges to positively affect the lives of individuals with Down syndrome.

Sotelo, a graduate of McKay Excessive Faculty, was 19 when she had Prince. She obtained the analysis throughout prenatal screening and realized concerning the dysfunction from Dr. Joseph Pinter, a pediatric neurologist with the Down Syndrome Program at Doernbecher Kids’s Hospital in Portland.

“He helped educate me alongside the way in which,” Sotelo mentioned. “I knew nothing about it.”

Roughly one in each 700 infants born in the US is born with Down syndrome — about 6,000 annually — making it the commonest genetic chromosomal dysfunction, in line with the NDSS.

The severity varies amongst people, inflicting mental incapacity and developmental delays. Folks with Down syndrome even have an elevated danger for sure medical situations similar to coronary heart and gastrointestinal issues, however life expectancy has elevated dramatically in current many years, from 25 years in 1983 to 60 at this time.

Proud older brother

Prince, who turns 7 in October, wanted surgical procedure to restore an intestinal blockage when he was born however has been comparatively wholesome since. He’s largely nonverbal however communicates by gestures and indicators, and he understands English and Spanish.

In addition to his mother, he has a loving assist system together with stepdad, older siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Prince loves music — something he can dance to, his mother mentioned — and Toy Story characters, particularly Woody the cowboy. His favourite meals is cheese pizza, his favourite shade yellow and his favourite animal the elephant.

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He is a proud older brother who enjoys serving to out along with his 2-year-old sister.

“He is very caring,” Sotelo mentioned.

She’s proud to advocate for her son and do her half to coach others about Down syndrome. Every day in October, throughout Down Syndrome Consciousness Month, Sotelo plans to share a truth about Down syndrome on social media.

She’s additionally lively with a Fb group for moms of youngsters with Down syndrome.

“We share progress and milestones,” Sotelo mentioned. “Since our youngsters meet milestones later, we’re much more understanding and stuffed with pleasure for one another.”

Capi Lynn is the Statesman Journal’s information columnist. Her column faucets into the center of this neighborhood — its folks, historical past and points. To assist her work, subscribe to the Statesman Journal. Contact her at or 503-399-6710, or comply with her on Twitter @CapiLynn and Fb @CapiLynnSJ.

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