BFF Magazine and Tough Kid would like to take the time to shine a spotlight for a very beautiful event happening on October 4th, 2015. That event is called The Buddy Walk. It is being sponsored by Down Syndrome Alabama and this walk benefits those with Down Syndrome.
The Buddy Walk was developed in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month which occurs every October. It promotes both acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. The Buddy Walk started out from 17 walks to 300 walks worldwide. As of 2014, nearly $13 million dollars have been raised for awareness for Down Syndrome.
What is Down Syndrome?
Everyone is born with 46 chromosomes in each cell. Those with Down Syndrome are born with an extra chromosome. The 47th chromosome, Trisomy 21, impacts development. 1 in 691 babies are born with Down Syndrome and it occurs at time of conception.
Down Syndrome Alabama’s Mission is to provide education, support, connections, and resources to those affected with Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome is only hereditary is 1% of families. In the other 99% of families it is random and the only known factor is that the chances of a child getting the syndrome increases when the mother is pregnant over the age of 35. Although the chances of a child getting Down Syndrome increases with the mother is over 35, most cases occur when the mother is under 35 because most mothers are young when they start having children.
The good news? The life expectancy of a person with Down Syndrome has increased dramatically over the years and they are starting to live as long as their peers. Another great thing to note is that those with the Down Syndrome are finding more opportunities in jobs, sports, education and other parts of society!
What Can You Do?
Register for the Buddy Walk by clicking here or by calling (205) 988-0810.
Educate yourself by clicking here.
You can donate to Down Syndrome Alabama by clicking here.
Become an Advocate!
Click on Down Syndrome Society of Mobile County.
Email Bringing Up Down Syndrome at BUDS@budsonline.org which is located in Madison, AL.
The John Mark Stallings Advocacy Program
John Mark is the son of legendary Alabama head football coach Gene Stallings and his wife Ruth Ann. John Mark touched people’s lives throughout his life and treated everyone with respect, regardless of their team and who they cheered for.
The John Mark Stallings Advocacy Program has funded research, patient care, patient family support and caretaker to caretaker health professional referral. They also hold career development workshops starting for those who are in the 4th grade and they even celebrate senior citizens with Down Syndrome. Click here for more information.
What Activities Work for a Person with the Syndrome?
Activities in the arts such as theater, dance, creative writing and art therapy are all good forms of expression. Physical activities such as the Special Olympics give them a great outlet as well.
For more information on the Alabama Special Olympics, click here.
For more information on VSA Arts of Alabama, which helps those with disabilities, click here.
Child’s Play Therapy Center- Huntsville (256) 837-2470
Please do what you can to both educate yourself and raise awareness for both the Buddy Walk 2015 and Down Syndrome Alabama. People with this disability are a gift from God and I have had the pleasure of getting to know a few throughout my life. They truly were some of the happiest people I have ever known!
Tough Kid Tuesday – The Buddy Walk 2015