Our First Down Syndrome Walk

Today was a day full of mixed emotions.  We left this morning to go to the Milwaukee Zoo for our first ever Down syndrome awareness walk.  We were all given green t-shirts and I found myself searching the faces in a sea of green looking for any child who seemed to have Ds.  The first child I saw was an adorable little 18 month old girl with blond pig tails.  She was walking but kept falling down.  My first thought was I couldn’t wait to see PJ walk.  There were so many cute kids of all ages.  We met up with little Emily and her family and also our new little friend Charlotte and her family.  There were over 2000 people who registered for the walk this year.  I was amazed as I looked around and saw that the number of children wearing the green shirt without Down syndrome outnumbered the children who had Ds 4 to 1.  There were huge groups of “teams” there to support friends and family.  We walked as Team PJ this year and Emily’s family (including her grandma and uncle from Omaha!!!) joined our team.  It was awesome.

The day began at the registration table where we were given our DSAW green t-shirts and food coupons.  Then all of the children were given goody bags with the biggest jawbreaker lollipops I have ever seen.  They had face painting, tattoos, a DJ, hot dogs and brats, snow cones and cotton candy!!!  The kids danced to the music.  Tommy and Lily were doing their best at the Macarena!!!

Then there was a rally and award ceremony followed by an adult woman with Ds who spoke as the ambassador of this year’s walk.  She read her speech beautifully and showed everyone how much a person with Down syndrome is capable of doing.  PJ was much more interested in showing Charlotte his toes though.

As we walked through the zoo we of course had to stop and see some animals.

When we got to the zoo I told Dave that I had met another mom on Facebook who had a six month old named Hunter with Down syndrome.  They lived in Northern Wisconsin and were driving down for the walk.  We both realized pretty quickly that I’d probably  never find her there with all of the people.  But as we were walking over toward where the DJ was playing I saw a woman who looked similar to the one on her facebook page so I decided to go up and ask.  I think my kids thought I was crazy.  I’m glad I asked though because it was her and I got to meet her sweet little baby Hunter.  She had her family and close friends with her and they all drove almost 4 hours to get there.

As we drove away today I was thinking how excited I was after seeing so many kids and how “normal” they seemed.  Somehow I kept thinking that they would be different.  But that’s not what I saw.  I saw cute kids dancing to Justin Bieber music, giggling as they fed baby goats and smiling as they sucked down snow cones.  I looked at Dave in the car and asked him what he thought of the day.  He had a very sobering thought.  He said, “With all of the cute kids there, imagine how many more there would be if 90% hadn’t been aborted.”  Breaks my heart.  These children are such a blessing and I can’t imagine not having PJ in our family.

We’re on this great journey and we’re on it with some great people!!!  Next year I hope that PJ is the one who is walking around!!!  Here some more cute pics of our day.

One thing I forgot to mention which is very cool, one of the girls from Alex’s class at Lumen Christi was there volunteering

in the DSAW tent.  How cool is that?

Here is one more pic, this one is PJ blowing kisses!!!!



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aunt Becky
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 14:11:15

    Go Team PJ!

    We are so lucky to have him and all of you in our family. Love the pictures. I can’t believe how big PJ is getting!


  2. Megan McComrick
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 14:38:42

    WOW! What a great thing to read on a Monday! So happy that the weather and turnout were so good for such an important cause! 🙂


  3. Rena Kocab
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 15:36:18

    God Bless you and your little family. It is obvious how much love your little PJ gets from everyone. Glad you had great weather for the walk. Looks like it was fun for everyone.


  4. Anna Thorson Mayer
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 08:48:25

    I was there too! Great event, great day. I thought you might enjoy this slideshow from the days’ events: http://annamayer.com/slideshows/DSAW_walk_2012/ Feel free to forward, post, share, etc. There is also a blog post about the day, here: http://annamayer.com/2012/dsaw-awareness-walk/

    I love your blog, the way to see your children, the raw, honest emotions. Thank you for sharing your story. -Anna


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