This Sunday, our family is doing the Run Up for Down Syndrome. We are walking in support of my nephew Declan.
After seeing this photo, I am sure it is no surprise that our team is called "Decky's Daredevils."
It is our second year of participating in the event. For a recap of the fun click here. Last year, we attempted the 5 km walk. One hour and sixteen minutes later, we knew that in subsequent years, we would set our sights a little lower. Three munchkins under three expressing their independence at every turn and one four year old who now qualifies as a big girl and we think the 1.5 km walk is a good fit for all of us.
This is the fifteenth annual Run Up for Down Syndrome hosted by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF). The event brings families and friends together to raise awareness and funds for the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. The DSRF believes in life long learning and that it is "never too late or early to learn." Their research looks at the best way to tap into the unique learning styles of people with developmental disabilities. Using their findings, they work to develop programs with meaningful instruction to support people with Down Syndrome to reach their full potential.
Over the past two years, I have watched Declan learn to crawl, climb and walk. I have witnessed him learn words and use signs to communicate. I have been the recipient of his devilish grins and many blown kisses. I have watched his parents set high expectations for him and have seen him live up to these expectations. I want for him what I want for my own kids and for the kids I teach and for my other nieces and nephews: To be happy. To feel loved. To be connected with others through social relationships. To learn to his full potential and use this learning to contribute to his community in a way that makes him feel fulfilled and needed. It is because of all of these things that I will don devil ears on Sunday and walk with my family.
To participate in the Run Up for Down Syndrome, click here.
To make a donation, click here