This past Sunday (10/10/10.....Happy belated Birthday LC!) we packed the car and headed to Wakefield, MA for the MA Down Syndrome Congress' (MDSC) 14th Annual Buddy Walk (to celebrate and promote the acceptance & inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome). This walk takes place each year in MA to support the more than 5,000 families who have a member with Down syndrome in the Commonwealth. With the money raised, the MDSC can continue to fund important programs and services in the areas of education, research and advocacy for those with Down syndrome.
I am so happy to share that our local support group, 21FrienDS, worked together in raising over $11,000 (and placed 2nd as the top fundraisers) and had over 100 buddies who put on their walking shoes and stepped up for the cause. Truly AMAZING!! We could not have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and so were the thousands of families who had come together to help raise awareness and promote the positive contributions that individuals with Down syndrome have to offer their communities. Inspiration everywhere!!! Not only was this day a day for spreading awareness, but it was a day when families & friends came together to CELEBRATE the lives, beauty & spirit of each of these individuals (of all ages) who have been blessed by that extra chromosome.
This year we participated in our 2nd walk. I still can't believe a whole year has passed and that Landon is 20 months old. Landon has been working very hard and has been making such great gains. We are so proud of him. We too have come a very long way as a family. This time last year, we were so afraid of the unknown. But, with the help of some wonderful support programs & services, this year we walked with an abundance of hope for Landon's future!
This year, Landon was joined by "27" of his closest friends and family members walking by his side, sporting a "Landon's Buddy Button". To each and every one of you, THANK YOU, your love & support has no boundaries. This journey would not be the same without you. We know that some of you were unable to attend, we missed you all!! There's always next year, and the year after that, etc=)
There were lots of activities for the kids (face painting, tattoos, etc.). But an exciting moment for the boys was meeting Rachel Coleman, in person!! We are so happy that we were able to take a picture "with" her & Hopkins!! For those of you who don't know who Rachel is, she is a mom to 2 children with special needs and has numerous collections of "sign language" cd's and dvd's (and more). I have mentioned in a previous post regarding speech therapy, that "sign language" is Landon's primary means of communication at this time. Landon is learning signs and communicating more each day, thanks to Rachel and her Signing Time videos!! Mason & Elijah were just super thrilled to meet a "celebrity"!!
Well, guess what?? Rachel wasn't the only one holding "celebrity" status that day, look who else made the list too!!!
(Mommy was a Buddy Walk All-Star)
(Landon's little mugshot made the Buddy Walk Banner)
that's him, top right=)
The day could not have been more perfect!!
The moment Landon "walked" across the finish line!!
(surrounded by his family & friends)
This little boy "IS" taking steps for a brighter tomorrow!!!
(Mission failed??.........Nah........Mission Accomplished!!!!!)