Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dashing for Down Syndrome

Three years ago, we were a new family embarking on a Down syndrome journey.

At the time, I had no idea where this path would lead.  I still felt slightly shell-shocked, and hadn't met anyone in the Down syndrome community in person.

We were encouraged to attend the Dash for Down Syndrome, which benefited the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh. We were hesitant about going, but at the very last minute, we decided to give it a shot.  I am SO glad we stepped out of our comfort zone and attended.

From the moment we arrived, we were welcomed by other parents who were on a similar journey.  Before we even made it up to the tent to register, a woman walked up to us, introduced herself, gave us a hug, and pointed out her own son.  We met so many people that day and my husband and I found ourselves holding back tears on several different occasions.

The Down syndrome community is simply amazing. When we're all together as a group, there's an overwhelming feeling of happiness, love, acceptance, and positivity. I've never experienced anything else like it!

Although we've attended many playdates and events with our local Down syndrome community, the Dash for Down Syndrome is the biggest event of the year.  We attend every year, and each year, our team grows!

On Saturday, we headed into Pittsburgh to attend the Dash for Down Syndrome at the Highmark Stadium. It was our third year, and we were so thankful Grant's mom, two of my dad's cousins, and our "framily" could join us! The SuperLiam League is awesome!

We had an afternoon full of family, friends, fun, and celebrating our loved ones with Down syndrome!

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Dash for Down Syndrome 2015
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Dash for Down Syndrome PGH
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Dash for Down Syndrome Pittsburgh October 2015
Dash for Down Syndrome Oct 2015

Liam spotted himself on the big screen...

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...and didn't hesitate to stop, drop, and #downwarddude!

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Dash For Down Syndrome

The Dash for Down Syndrome is a great family event.  There are bounce houses, games, train rides, balloon artists, and snacks. The mascots for the Pirates and the Steelers are always there. The kids always have so much fun!

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Dash for Down Syndrome October 2015
Dash for Down Sydnrome PGH 2015

Finally, it was time for the walk!  This year's walk was my favorite so far.  We walked along the river, into station square, around the fountain, and back along the river.  The view of the city was every bit as beautiful as it was in the stadium.

I always get so choked up while we walk.  There's a line of people as far as you can see in front of you and as far as you can see behind you.  It's a very powerful and moving experience to be part of a group of people who all come together for one cause.

Dash for Down Sydnrome
Dash for Down Syndrome Pittsburgh 2015

Just for the record, even superheroes need to take breaks sometimes.

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When we returned to the stadium, our friends and family members began to leave.  Liam woke up and explored the nearly empty field.

Dash For Down Syndrome October 2015 Pittsburgh
Dash for Down Syndrome October 2015 in Pittsburgh

Don't worry, Pittsburgh.  Liam has your back!

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The Dash for Down Syndrome is the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh's biggest fundraising event of the year.  This year, we all raised over $90,000.  That money directly benefits Liam and his peers by funding local programs that help them! If you would like to donate to this great cause, you can still do so HERE.

A huge thank you to The SuperLiam League for all the love, support, and donations. We love you all!

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It was another great year at the Dash for Down Syndrome!  It has quickly become one of our favorite events of the year!!!

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If you are new to the Down syndrome community, I highly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, and attend an event.  I promise you won't regret it.  Community and support is one of the most important aspects on this journey!

Do you personally know someone who has Down syndrome? 

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4 comments:

  1. That picture of him looking up at the mascot is adorable! I love the walk/dashes for Down Syndrome all around the country. My cousin's family just did one in Pheonix with their kiddos. So fun!

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  2. That looks awesome. Also looks like you all had perfect weather for it. Love all the pics.

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