Brothers Race Across America to Support Down Syndrome Research

Bioethics   |   Rebecca Taylor   |   Jun 8, 2012   |   10:37AM   |   Washington, DC

Dr. Jérôme Lejeune was a remarkable man. He was the geneticist who discovered the cause of Down Syndrome and his was a devout Catholic. Dr. Lejeune was appalled at the way his discovery was being used: in a prenatal seek-and-destroy mission against those with Down Syndrome. My father was fortunate enough to meet Jérôme Lejeune and speak with him for a couple of hours. Read my father’s touching recollections here.

Dr. Lejeune died in 1994, but his tireless work for those with Down Syndrome continues on in the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation USA whose goal is to “help researchers find a therapeutic treatment that will improve the intellectual abilities of persons who have Trisomy 21.”

Two brothers are embarking on a grueling coast-to-coast bike ride to support this worthy foundation. From the press release:


On June 16, Marc and Patrick Leblond will embark on an extraordinary journey that will test the utmost limits of their physical endurance, mental resilience and commitment to a cause, and they will do it for their niece, Brigid, and to raise money to support the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, USA.

As Marc Leblond says:

“When my brother and I decided to participate in the Race Across America we wanted to test ourselves in this ambitious challenge, but we sensed an opportunity to accomplish something much more important. Patrick and I have a 6 year-old cousin with Down syndrome. This race provides us with a powerful tool to help promote a cause that is very close to us. The Lejeune foundation, with its focus on research, care and advocacy has been instrumental in helping children like our cousin Brigid live productive and joy-filled lives. We are humbled by the opportunity to partner with them and inspire others to help make a difference in the lives of children with Down Syndrome

The toughest endurance event in the world, the Race Across America offers long-distance cyclists the opportunity to challenge themselves to the height of their abilities. Over 1750 cyclists have completed RAAM since its first edition in 1982. Solo winners complete the course in approximately 9 days and winning teams complete the journey in 6 days. These modern day heroes brave the desert, plains and mountain weather, lead a crew in a mini-organization of support, and raise thousands of dollars for charities around the world. The Leblond family will be there every mile to support Marc and Patrick as the crew of Team XTreme.

The Race Across America will start on June 16th for the Leblond brothers. To keep up-to-date on Marc and Patrick’s progress follow them on Twitter @RAAMTeamXtreme or on their website

Marc and Patrick have promised that every dollar they raise will go directly to the Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA so please contribute to their campaign today.

Good luck boys!!!