San Francisco philanthropist leaves generous bequest

Janice Selix and Chase Turner Perry

Janice Selix with great-grandson Chase Turner Perry

When Janice Viner Selix passed away peacefully this year at the age of 94, her family wanted to honor her life-long commitment to philanthropy and community. That legacy is now in place through a generous bequest to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s medical care and research in celebration of Janice and Alfred Selix’s great-grandson Chase Turner Perry.

The bequest was made with input from Janice and Alfred Selix’s family — daughter Susan & Randy Karsh, and grandchildren Greg Karsh and Casey & Brett Perry. The bequest will support the Shared Family Room at the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado, fund a grant for Down syndrome and aspiration research, and establish the “Selix Family Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Development Fund” at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Karsh family

Susan Karsh, Greg Karsh, Brett Perry, Randy Karsh, Casey Perry and Chase Turner Perry

“Mom quietly and generously supported so many students with the opportunity of higher education,” said Alfred and Janice Selix’s daughter Lynn Blankfort of Mill Valley, California. “Her quest to educate has been further extended in recognition of her great-grandson, Chase Perry, the ultimate student whose accomplishments thus far have taught others so much. May this gift continue to educate parents and family members in bettering the lives of those with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s.”

The Shared Family Room at the Sie Center opened as part of the Sie Center’s new clinical space in 2013 and is intended as a place where clinicians and families can meet in a comforting environment to discuss diagnoses, plans and questions.

The Down Syndrome & Aspiration Research Grant at the Sie Center will fund important study into why children with Down syndrome are more likely to have aspiration problems and what treatments are best suited to helping them thrive. Aspiration research was particularly important to the Karsh and Perry families because of problems that Chase Turner Perry had with aspiration as an infant.

The Selix Family Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Development Fund will enable key scientists at the Crnic Institute, including Executive Director Tom Blumenthal, Ph.D., and Director of Alzheimer’s Research Huntington Potter, Ph.D., to go out into the community and spread awareness about the connection between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Huntington Potter

Dr. Potter is the scientist who discovered the mechanistic relationship between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s and is leading the establishment of an Alzheimer’s research and care center in Colorado. Research into the connection may hold the key to better treatments that would benefit those with Down syndrome and those with Alzheimer’s. Virtually 100% of people with Down syndrome will have the plaques and tangles in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but only an estimated 50 percent will develop the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s.

Chase Turner Perry

Janice Selix was born in Stockton, California, and moved to San Francisco at the age of 6, where she lived for the rest of her life. She was known for her warm, gracious, proud, caring and artistic nature, and she continually gave of herself, and generously contributed to those in need. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred.

Alfred and Janice Selix’s other daughter, Susan Karsh, and her husband, Randy, are ardent supporters of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Susan and Randy Karsh’s grandson, Chase Turner Perry, is a Global Down Syndrome Foundation Ambassador.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation appreciates the longtime support, advocacy and friendship of the Karsh and Perry families and expresses its profound thanks for the Selix Family bequest and all of the great work it will help fund in support of benefiting the lives of people with Down syndrome.

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