Couple Blazes the Trail for Down Syndrome Research in 100-Mile Race Through Rocky Mountains

LEADVILLE, Colo., June 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Siobhan and Dan Pritchard will be running a 100-mile race through grueling Rocky mountain terrain this summer to raise much-needed money for Down syndrome research.

Siobhan is no stranger to long distances and in fact attempted the Leadville 100 last year, only 3 months after giving birth to her son James, who has Down syndrome. Unfortunately, the difficulties of training through pregnancy and postnatal care for James caused her to miss the time cutoff in the 63rd mile, automatically pulling her from the race.

This year, the couple is back and more determined than ever. Siobhan says, "We want James to know that everyone has things that don't always go their way. We want to be an example to him that you need to keep trying, keep getting back up and to never just sit down on a rock. Leadville 2013, you had better watch out!" That indomitable spirit has served Siobhan well and is soon to become a rallying flag for Down syndrome research.

The non-profit foundation Research Down Syndrome recently kick-started a nationwide "Run with Siobhan" campaign to raise money for this research. In the time leading up to Siobhan's race on August 17-18, runners across the country will run in solidarity with her and mount their own fundraising efforts.

Recent developments in Down syndrome research give new meaning to this movement. Two clinical trials are underway to investigate potential drugs designed to address the cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with Down syndrome. An additional clinical trial has been approved to test a vaccine designed to offset the development of Alzheimer's disease in persons with Down syndrome.

"To go from nothing to this really exciting, really promising research was just kind of mind-blowing," says Siobhan. "So if Dan and I can do something that to some people might seem totally crazy and really hard, to me I just look at it like that's just such a small thing to what James goes through and what so many other people with Down syndrome go through."

To learn more about Siobhan's story, visit the Run with Siobhan fundraising page:

About Research Down Syndrome 

Research Down Syndrome (RDS) is committed to supporting the identification of the causes of the intellectual impairments associated with Down syndrome and to facilitating the development of pharmacological therapies to improve memory, learning and communication in persons with Down syndrome. RDS supports and funds Down syndrome cognitive research conducted at preeminent research institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, The University of Arizona, University of California, San Diego, The University of Texas, Austin, and VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Research Down Syndrome is a legal corporate entity, and is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization designated by the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, go to, or contact RDS President Bob Schoen: or 847-710-2251.

CONTACT: Robert Schoen, Ph.D. 847.710.2251Source: Research Down Syndrome