Our First Buddy Walk

Yesterday was the Buddy Walk in Wakefield, Massachusetts. It was a beautiful day, close to 70, so perfect for a walk around the lake. It was a great day for Gigi, joined by her parents, sisters, one of her grandmothers, and my cousin, Melissa, and her husband. This was our first big Down syndrome event. Being a bit uncomfortable with fundraising we didn’t solicit heavily, in fact I put one post out on Facebook. In the end we raised over $2500. The day was a blur and a bit overwhelming so I kind of just went with the flow and didn’t think ahead of the moment I was in. As a result we showed up to the event a little later than we should have, spent to much time eating donuts at the halfway point of the walk, and I failed to take good pictures. I got none with Gigi’s grandmother.

Melissa has done a number of walks in the past for other causes so she knew more what to expect than I did. She alluded to me that there weren’t going to be that many people with Down syndrome and she was right. There were more than I’ve seen at one place and one time, but not overwhelming and most were small children, I didn’t see many adults. I saw Ben from a distance, who I mentioned in this post. I also saw a man whose name I don’t recall but I remember reading about him being a very vocal and well-known self advocate in Massachusetts. The older children that we saw seemed to be enjoying themselves with their families. Two that I heard speak spoke rather clearly. I know that may seem like a strange comment, but I’m used to meeting babies and toddlers who are hardly verbal.

We disappointingly didn’t run into any friends. And again, regarding all of the other kids that I saw but didn’t know, I wanted to meet all of them but we didn’t have the opportunity. I felt like I was in a store where I could only look through the window so in that respect the day felt a little incomplete. I guess I’ll have to stick to our monthly Down syndrome playgroups for that.

We did run into Dr. Skotko and he made a comment that there is a special energy at the walk. I felt like he was right. I can’t describe it, maybe it was the special bond that I could see between the children and their parents, but I left feeling even more blessed to have Gigi in our lives.

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October is Down syndrome awareness month. This month I am participating in a blog challenge for Down syndrome awareness. Click the link below to see a list of more blogs posting for Down syndrome awareness during the month of October…

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