Monthly Archives: April 2015

Recognizing the Pioneers in Down Syndrome Research – 2015 Awards Gala

STL Event LogoWe are so excited to be hosting our very first awards gala – The Sky’s the Limit – in Seattle on May 2, 2015.

We selected the Sky’s the Limit theme to represent the hope we feel. Thanks to your support over these 11 years, research that was once too complex to even consider is now experiencing tremendous breakthroughs. There are more discoveries, more exceptional, young researchers interested in pursuing careers in Down syndrome research, and interest from pharmaceutical firms to develop drug therapies.

Our inaugural event will honor five exceptional people who helped advance Down syndrome research. On Saturday evening, we will be presenting the following awards:

  • Founders’ Award – Presented to Jim White and Patty O’Brien White on behalf of all those who were a part of the creation of the organization. This is a legacy award to be presented in 2016 and beyond to those who make an impact to the advancement of research.
  • Dr. David Cox Rising Star Award – Presented to Dr. Jamie Edgin, University of Arizona
  • Dr. William Cohen Researcher of Distinction Award – Presented to Dr. William Mobley, University of California, San Diego
  • Luminary Award – Presented to Sarah Wernikoff, former Chairperson, LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation

About our Honorees:

Jamie Edgin websiteJamie Edgin, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Sonoran UCEDD at the University of Arizona. Her research centers on studies of sleep and learning in Down syndrome, and she has been instrumental in devising new methods to measure cognition in those with Ds. Dr. Edgin serves on a number of community boards, including her service on the State of Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

Dr. William Mobley, MD, PhD, is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at University of California, San Diego. He also serves as executive director of UCSD’s Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment. His research emphasis on the neurobiology of Down syndrome has brought new insights into Down syndrome, including possible therapies to improve cognition and unraveling the connections between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Sarah LinkedInSarah Wernikoff served as LuMind Board Chair from 2012-2014 and was a member of the LuMind board for 7 years. Her professional background includes over 15 years experience in ecommerce general business management, marketing strategy and planning, merchandising, and management consulting. Sarah has three children including an 11 year old daughter who has Down syndrome.

white_large croppedJim White and Patty Ann O’Brien White are accepting this award on behalf of all of the people who were a part of the creation of the organization eleven years ago. Jim is a Managing Director with Sutter Hill Ventures and Patty is a marketing consultant at GSVlabs. The Whites have four children, including a daughter with Down syndrome.

If you would like to support the event, we are accepting donations in honor of the award recipients or for the event. Please learn more on our event page.

A big thank you to Confluence Health for their sponsorship of the Gala.

Affiliate Profile: Thank You Buddy Walk of South Plainfield

By Veronica Fratta

Buddy Walk S PlanfieldMichele Both is a busy mom of four beautiful children aged 15, 12, 9, and 6. Yet once a year, she finds the time to organize a walk that mobilizes 650 people to support individuals with Down syndrome.

Michele’s second child, Kyle, was born with Down syndrome. That October, Michele and family attended their first Buddy Walk. As they drove home from the walk, Michele mused about starting a walk closer to home. The very next year, Michele did just that. With help from friends and family, she put on the first Buddy Walk of South Plainfield, New Jersey. About 250 people joined her to show their support.South Plainfield Buddy Walk Picture

Now in its 12th year, the South Plainfield Buddy Walk brings together friends and families of individuals with Down syndrome. Boy and Girl Scouts and youth from various area schools join them to help with the event, which features not just the walk but lunch, games, raffles, and a DJ to pump up the energy.

Michele’s motivation is to raise awareness and promote acceptance of people with Down syndrome as well as raise funds for various Down syndrome organizations because Michele wants to put the money to good use. As a recipient of the Buddy Walk of South Plainfield’s generosity, we at the LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation are so grateful for their invaluable contributions to our research efforts!  We share a common mission of improving the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and we appreciate their support.

The next Buddy Walk of South Plainfield takes place on October 3, 2015, at Putnam Park in South Plainfield, New Jersey.  Please go to for more information.

Demarest Swim Club Fundraising in Support of LuMind Research Down Syndrome

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The Demarest Swim Club of Demarest, NJ, is participating in the 4th Annual Demarest Triathlon on June 7. This year the swim club is raising funds in support of Down syndrome cognitive research, with numerous sponsorships available. Half of the proceeds raised will go to LuMind Research Down Syndrome.

You can learn more about the triathlon and register for the event here

You can view sponsorship opportunities here

Run for Research: Chicago Marathon

research down syndrome, RDS Runners, Lottery registration for the Oct. 11 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, one of the world’s premier running events, ends on Tuesday, April 21. 

LuMind Research Down Syndrome has charity entries. More than 40,000 participants run from Grant Park, through the Loop, Old Town, Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park, through Little Italy, Chinatown, and Bronzeville, before ending up again in Grant Park. It is a flat course, cheering crowds line every mile, and the post race dining/partying opportunities and atmosphere are second to none.

Join us today!

Don’t take any chances… sign up with LuMind RDS Runners now. Reach us at for more information. LuMind RDS Runners is the nation’s charity running program that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Down syndrome cognition research.

Share this with anyone who has said: “Some day, I want to run the Chicago Marathon,” or who has said, “What can I do to support research that has the potential to identify therapies that will enhance life opportunities for persons with Down syndrome?” Let’s do this.

Lara Font_Chicago Marathon_1 cropped Team Pritchard_Chicago Marathon_1