Governor Nikki Haley and First Gentleman Michael Haley Friday issued a statewide proclamation recognizing World Down Syndrome Day throughout South Carolina.

And the First Children, Rena and Nalin, lit the Governor's Mansion blue as part of the effort to raise awareness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome affects 1 in 700 infants born in the U.S.

It is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21, which alters the development of a baby's body and brain and can lead to physical and mental challenges.

Research has led to an increased understanding of the condition as well as improved treatment options, thereby allowing a longer, more fulfilling life for those with Down syndrome.

Haley's proclamation recognizes the positive results of the ongoing research and encourages all South Carolinians to join together to help ensure they're afforded every opportunity to live, learn and work.