About Us
     History
 

History

The Lejeune Clinic for Children with Down Syndrome is named after Professor Jérôme Lejeune, a French geneticist who discovered the link between Down syndrome and Chromosome 21 in 1959. Professor Lejeune devoted his life to understanding Down syndrome and he treated thousands of children at his clinic in Paris, building a database of more than 8,000 patients from across the world.

In 1989 Dr Margaret White set up The Anna Fund to support Professor Lejeune’s research and inform the medical profession of advances in treatment. The Anna Fund was also used to help families travel from the UK to the Paris clinic.

In 1995 The Anna Fund and the Guild of Catholic Doctors jointly founded the Lejeune Clinic and our team of specialists was allowed to use consulting rooms at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth. Initially only Professor Lejeune’s UK patients visited the Clinic but word travelled fast and it wasn’t long before people from across the British Isles were enquiring about our work.

It may be coincidence but the services available to children with Down syndrome have improved greatly in the past 10 years. Today a network of doctors from the UK and Ireland – including the Clinic’s own medical staff - are members of the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group, whose aim is to share information about the medical aspects of Down's syndrome and pass this on to health care professionals who may be involved in treating and managing the syndrome.

"There is no such thing as a Down's person but human persons affected by a very special disease which is due to an excess of a good thing. The chromosome 21 in trisomy is in triplicate instead of in duplicate. But what is written on that chromosome is perfectly normal. The children with Down syndrome suffer from having an excess of good things and the curious thing is that a good chromosome will give you trouble if there is too much of it."