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Jessica Biel reveals beloved niece has Down syndrome with supportive message

The Candy star's brother is also called Justin

jessica biel reveals niece down syndrome© Photo: Getty Images
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
March 22, 2023
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Jessica Biel proved how supportive she is of her family after she revealed that her beloved niece, Zaya, has Down syndrome.

The Candy star – who is married to Justin Timberlake – took to Instagram on Tuesday in honor of World Down Syndrome Day and paid a sweet tribute to Zaya as she modeled a pair of mushroom socks.

WATCH: Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake recreate iconic moment

"For #WorldDownSyndromeDay this year, I’m wearing FUN SOCKS to support my amazing niece @lovelyzayab and to celebrate the whole incredible community," she captioned the photo taken inside her luxury Montana home.

"Post yours to send love to our friends and family all over the world," Jessica added.

SEE: Jessica Biel's second wedding dress was even more unconventional than her pink bridal gown

MORE: Jessica Biel makes surprising confession about family life with Justin Timberlake 

The Sinner star's followers were touched by Jessica's show of support, with one responding: "So grateful to see you supporting our amazing kiddos!!!"

A second said: "Thank you for supporting the community." A third added: "Happy world Down syndrome day from my homie who rocks the extra awesome chromie to your family."

jessica biel wearing fun socks for world down syndrome day© Photo: Instagram

Jessica showed off her 'fun socks'

Zaya's dad – Jessica's lookalike brother, Justin Biel – and his family explained the significance of her wearing 'fun socks' on Instagram. "Why the 'Mismatched colorful socks' on World Down Syndrome Day? Actually, chromosomes look like mismatched socks," they wrote.

"We wear them to raise awareness of people with Down syndrome, their acceptance by the society, schools and companies.

"2023 – With us, not for us – a human rights-based approach views people with disabilities as having the right to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities as everyone else, working WITH others to improve their lives @lovelyzayab."

jessica biels brother justin biel and daughter zaya© Photo: Instagram

Jessica's brother and her niece, Zaya

Jessica also shared a photo of Zaya and her dad on her Story with a similar caption, which Justin reshared alongside the message: "Biggest Hug And Thank You Auntie."

According to the Mayo Clinic, Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. This extra genetic material causes the developmental changes and physical features of Down syndrome.

Her heartfelt post comes after she revealed last year that Zaya underwent open-heart surgery in 2019 at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The three-year-old was also born with a congenital heart defect.

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