Walkers of all ages and abilities gathered at AT&T Field Saturday morning to raise awareness for Down Syndrome.
Andrea Holmes, 2012 Buddy Walk Chairman said, "Just the awareness. Just the need for others to know that these kids are just the same as any other kid. They just want to be loved. They want to be accepted. They want to have the same opportunity as the other kids have." Hundreds of orange shirts flooded the streets for the annual Buddy Walk. Families had the opportunity to browse through different resources that are available in the community to help their children. Down Syndrome does not have a known cause. Women can give birth to a down syndrome child at any age. Holmes said, "You have a group of 23 chromosomes in your body, and you should have 2 of each of those. God gives us one extra on the 21st chromosome. They have a total of 47 chromosomes."
Families were able to talk with others and share their stories and experiences. The parents of 12 year old Gracie said events like this help tremendously. Candace McDougal, Parent said, "You can't compare, but you can give encouragement and things to look for and to be patient. To be understanding and just things will happen as they come. Just being able to talk to someone who has been there and done that it helps other families a lot."
Organizers said this year was the biggest year yet.