Sammy’s Superheroes: Year Number Four!

Sammy’s Superheroes joined forces for the fourth year in a row earlier this month at the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk! We gathered with a whole lot of our friends in Duluth to celebrate and spread awareness of the awesomeness of those we love who have Down syndrome.


Little Sammy had a pretty great Superman costume (complete with puffy muscles) that he absolutely refused to wear the morning of the walk. Oh well, at least I had his official shirt as a backup!


My sister Jenny was among our team members this year, along with her kids. We lost count of how many times these two went down the slide together. Sam insisted every time they reached the bottom that they do it again. Jenny got a good workout that day.


I’m so sad that this may be the only group photo we have this year. I need to see if the event photographer has one. Every other year we’ve captured a great one of almost all of Sammy’s Superheroes. Boo.


This is Sam’s future girl, though, let’s be honest, he does have a few others in line, as well. Rauri’s mama, Alexa, was one of my students years ago when I was student teaching in a nearby high school. We reconnected when I saw her post in our local Down syndrome family group just over a year ago while she was still pregnant. Rauri is going to move mountains with her amazing mom cheering her on! But seriously, see how they’re looking at each other? Swoon.


Ella was thrilled to push our friend’s little girl once it was time for the walk. This girl is mother hen through and through.


Raise your hand if you’re ready to walk!


So many great friends and role models to catch up with during the walk. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have parents to watch and talk to who are a bit further along on this parenting journey.


After we completed the actual walk portion of the event, it was time to play! Superman took off after his Supergirl.


She was flying!


And they both went sliding. What a good sport, Daddy-o.


Toward the end of the walk, when things had quieted down a bit, Sam made a new friend.


The two of them sat for quite a while, mimicking one another and playing. Sam was amazed by this gigantic yellow jacket. And honestly, so was I. I know the mascots are typically college students who are obligated to attend these events and probably put up with a lot of crazy kids being a bit too rough with them. But even after all that, this UW-Superior Yellowjacket sat down on the track with my boy and gave him undivided attention. I know, I know, it seems like a little thing, but in that moment, and now looking back on it, it was really special. So yes, I’m thankful to that ginormous bee (more so the awesome student inside that costume) and the moment they created with my Sammy.



Will we be at the walk next year? Not in Minnesota, but maybe we’ll hold our own at Tenwek Hospital! I know a bunch of little boys over there who love to dress as superheroes, so I think Sammy will likely have a brand new squad in Kenya. When it happens, I’ll be sure to get a group photo. 🙂





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