Sunday, September 27, 2009
Today my daughter Trinity (pictured above), her sister Stephanie and Steph's friend Nadia participated in the 2009 Buddy Walk. Here's a little about the walk, taken from the official Buddy Walk site:
The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk® program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.
Over the past fourteen years, the Buddy Walk® program has grown from 17 walks to more than 280 expected in 2009 across the country and around the world. Last year alone, 250,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk®! They raised $10.5 million to benefit national education, research and advocacy initiatives, as well as local programs. These funds enable NDSS and local groups to offer services that support and enhance the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
The Buddy Walk® is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. It is a wonderful, heart-warming event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome.
No one is happy to learn that their child has a disability. But over the years, I have met many wonderful people because of my daughter Trinity. I've met wise and wonderful parents, dedicated medical professionals, tireless therapists, and caring teachers and aides. I am very thankful for all of these people.
Some of the most important have been the teachers and therapists in the Birth to Three program. That's why I chose to highlight that program in my upcoming release from 5 Star Press, The Prodigal Father. In this story you will meet Risa, the almost three year old daughter of the heroine. Risa has Down syndrome and single mom Beth has come to depend on the support of the professionals that work with Risa through this program. When Risa turns three she will no longer be eligible for the program and Beth is feeling a lot of anxiety about the future. This is completely and totally based on how I felt when Trinity was at this point.
Luckily there is help beyond that program! The National Down Syndrome Society and events like Buddy Walk are proof of that.
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 5:06 PM