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DSRF Celebrates 25 Years of Caring for the Down Syndrome Community

March 13, 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2020

CONTACT: Glen Hoos, Director of Communications
604-444-3773 | glen@dsrf.org | http://DSRF.org

BURNABY, BC – Burnaby’s Down Syndrome Resource Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Caring for the Down Syndrome Community

For the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation, 2020 is an occasion a quarter century in the making.

On March 13, 1995 DSRF’s doors officially opened. Actually, it was just one door, swinging from a tiny trailer on the grounds of Vancouver’s Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.

DSRF (known then as the Down Syndrome Research Foundation) was the vision of Josephine Mills, a strong advocate and passionate supporter of children with Down syndrome and their families. Josephine devoted more than 30 years to improving the quality of medical care, education, and opportunities in the community for people with Down syndrome and their families, and was instrumental in founding three major organizations that address the needs of people with Down syndrome: Down Syndrome International, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, and DSRF.

In 2002, Jo swung open another set of doors – these ones leading into DSRF’s brand new centre on Sperling Avenue in Burnaby. Designed first and foremost as a research facility, which at the time was the organization’s primary focus, DSRF quickly became home to hundreds of families in the Lower Mainland Down syndrome community.

Over the past 25 years, the organization has evolved away from research and towards service delivery, as it became clear that this is where DSRF could make the greatest impact for its families. Today, the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation is Canada’s leading provider of educational programs and therapy services to people with Down syndrome across the lifespan, serving over 400 students annually.

“The Down Syndrome Resource Foundation has been around long enough now that we've had the privilege of seeing some of our students grow up from early childhood well into adulthood,” says CEO Wayne Leslie. “We have adults with Down syndrome who come back to DSRF and say, ‘I started here. I have a job, I’m independent, I have an amazing life and I reached my full potential, and I did it with the help of DSRF.’ That’s an incredible legacy, and we aim to continue it for many years to come.”

As the organization considered the best way to mark its silver anniversary, it came to realize the best way to remember and honour the past is to build upon it. To this end, expect a major announcement later this year – one that will set the stage for DSRF to grow its impact for another 25 years and beyond.

For more information on the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation, visit DSRF.org or follow @DSRFCanada and #DSRF25 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Down Syndrome Resource Foundation
1409 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby
British Columbia, Canada
V5B 4J8

Fax: +1 604 431 9248
Phone: +1 604 444 3773
E-mail: info@dsrf.org
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