It turned out to be a beautiful Saturday morning and a perfect day for the Cincinnati Buddy Walk. What is a Buddy Walk you might be wondering: Established in 1995 to celebrate Down syndrome Awareness month in October and promote acceptance and inclusion for people with Down syndrome.
We put on sunscreen and packed up the essentials, snacks, insulin, test kit, juice and Darth Vader mask. Sam insisted that he needed it and promised he would wear or carrying it for the entire walk. After waking up April and reminding her she needed to get herself to work by 11am we left for Sawyer Point on the banks of the Ohio River. We were joined by 5,000+ walkers.Jake and Sam did a little art work before we joined up with our team, Brennan’s Big Believers. Brennan is Sam’s girlfriend so of course we needed to walk with her team. After we had the initial greeting with Bren, Darth made an entrance.
Someone rolled their eyes in disapproval at the kissing between Darth and Bren but I smiled and said, “Hey, they are 16 and 17 and that’s what teenagers do!” Everyone loves to throw the word “appropriate” around when talking about our kids with DS. So folks, this is appropriate behavior. A quick kiss when you see your girlfriend is fine with me.
While we were waiting the kids found some fun things to do to pass the time.Little known fact…one of Jake’s many skills is he can keep a hula hoop going without even trying.Sam doesn’t quite have stilt walking mastered but that’s OK because it was time to start the walk.I use the term ‘walk’ loosely because with so many people joining in it is more like creeping. The fun thing is you see lots of people you know.These 4 Super Hero therapists all work for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The one next to Sam(far left) is Jen, the boys’ big sister.We tried to get a picture along the Serpentine wall but the sun wasn’t cooperating. Just down from this picture we found this cute little red-head and his dad.Uncle Sam is looking at Jack and brother-in-law Pete. I was amazed that we actually found our family in the huge crowd.
Walking and kissing and celebrating the lives of people born with Down syndrome…perfect! If you would like to see more pictures of the Buddy Walk you can check out this website: dsagc or this Facebook page, Down Syndrome Association of Cincinnati.