Through the last three months, we’ve entered into a world that we knew very little about before our little man arrived. It’s not one that we’re constantly aware of, but Down Syndrome has certainly become much more a part of who we are as a family. I think there’s a line that crosses into “we’re completely consumed by this diagnosis and it will be in every single thing we do” as opposed to “this is one part of who we are, just like other things are part of who we are.” I’ve learned through reading blogs and magazine articles and following advocacy groups on Twitter and Facebook that, at this moment, I would like to have DS as one part of our family but keep it in balance with other parts of who we are. We embrace it as a part of our “new normal” and know it is becoming a part of the intricate fabric of our family.
With that said, I’m pretty excited to share about something fun just around the bend. Every year, families and friends around the world participate in what has been know as Buddy Walks, big events that raise money and awareness for Down Syndrome resources and advocacy. Minnesota has been hosting walks for 15 years and for the last 11 years, there has been one right here in Duluth, though now Minnesota calls them Step Up for Down Syndrome walks. I’ve done a little searching and reading and have looked at multiple albums of photos from past walks in Minnesota and beyond. Everyone gathers in a central location for a big ol’ party and completes a walk of some kind. Besides raising money and awareness for a really great cause, one of the best parts (in my opinion) is that families can create teams for the event. And yes, dressing up is an option. Yay!
Therefore, I’m very excited to reveal…
Wohoo! Mr Sammy Sam will be the center of our team as we head down to Canal Park in Duluth on the afternoon of Sunday, September 30. We would love, love, love to have lots of family and friends join us, so if you have even the slightest desire to be a superhero, come to the walk! We’ll be making signs, carrying balloons, and dressing in our very best superhero attire. All of the official information can be found on the Duluth Step Up for Down Syndrome website. Registration for the walk is fast, easy, and FREE – which includes a t-shirt! – and can be done on this REGISTRATION PAGE. Registrations need to be done before September 4, though, if you’d like a t-shirt the day of the event.
As I mentioned, one of the big parts of this walk is to raise money for Down Syndrome resources in the state. We’ve been fortunate to benefit from some of these resources already. Right away in the hospital, we received packets of information, and once we registered as new parents with the organization, we were sent a box with multiple books and a DVD. This fall we hope to be a part of a local family group, which will be largely supported through this walk.
|Ella reading to Sammy at the flower shop|
After considering what we think we might be able to do for our part of the walk, Pete & I decided to go with a number that seems really big, but one that we think we just might be able to reach with your help – $1,000. We’ve set up a donation page through the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota, which makes donating super simple. Whether you’re able to join us for the walk or not, you can still donate. We really want to make Sammy’s first Step Up walk memorable with a sweet party and a strong donation, so will you help us? These resources really do make a difference. We’re proof of that. And I know we’ll rely on the continuing resources for Sammy through the entire year to come.
|big sister strikes again|
To be a part of Sammy’s Superheroes team, visit his DONATION PAGE or click on the widget in the right sidebar on this page. Even a little donation makes a difference. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. We needed support and information after Sammy was born, and the things we were given right at the hospital made a pretty big impact on our first few weeks with our little man.
This weekend I’ll be posting another way to get involved that you won’t want to miss if you’re in the Duluth area. Check back for details!
Who is your favorite superhero? We’re looking for a bit of costume inspiration and would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!