U.S. Senators Introduce DeOndra Dixon INCLUDE Project Act on World Down Syndrome Day

By Trish Svoboda

On World Down Syndrome Day, Thursday, March 21, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and John Hickenlooper put forth a bipartisan, bicameral bill aimed at boosting funding for Down syndrome research. The proposed DeOndra Dixon INCLUDE Project Act is designed to orchestrate research efforts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), focusing on vital health and quality-of-life requirements and conditions impacting individuals with Down syndrome.

The bill is named in honor of DeOndra Dixon, who served as the Ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and was a recipient of the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award. She passed away in 2020 at the age of 36.

“We are forever grateful to GLOBAL for creating such purpose for our little sister DeOndra,” said Academy Award-winning actor and DeOndra Dixon’s brother, Jamie Foxx. “My sister Deidra and I are so proud of the big difference she made through her advocacy in DC, and now with this bill she will continue to make a difference. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t miss her, but today I know she’s dancing up in heaven because this legislation is named after her and will help millions of people with Down syndrome.”

Recently, a corresponding bill in the House of Representatives, put forward by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), has progressed from the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee and is now awaiting further consideration from the full House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“DeOndra loved to help people and to advocate for people less fortunate,” said George Dixon, DeOndra’s father. “I remember DeOndra walking the halls of Congress, and cracking everybody up with her jokes. Anyone who has met DeOndra knows she was a pistol – articulate, funny, smart, and the most loving person I have ever known. We are so happy that this important bill is named after our little angel. People with Down syndrome deserve better, and this bill is a big step in the right direction.”

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