In an effort to promote a good cause and have fun at the same time, Northwestern’s Special Education Ministry is partnering with the Tri-State Down Syndrome Network in the Buddy Walk this Saturday, Sept. 26, at Korver Field.
The National Down Syndrome Society developed this annual walk to promote acceptance and awareness of people with Down syndrome. Students, faculty and community members are all invited to participate in this half-mile walk.
Registration will begin at 10 a.m. at Korver Field. The cost is $10 for individuals and T-shirts are also available for $5. The half-mile walk will begin at 11 a.m., and post-walk activities include a pizza lunch, inflatable games, face painting and displays on Down syndrome. In the event of bad weather, the Buddy Walk will be held in the RSC.
According to the Tri-State Down Syndrome Network’s brochure, more than 400,000 people are living with Down syndrome in the U.S. Down syndrome simply means that an individual has an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. It is the most common chromosomal condition, affecting people of all races and economic levels and occurring in one in 733 births.
Lori Couch, director of student activities and mother of a child with Down syndrome, said, “The main purpose of this walk is to raise awareness for and educate about Down syndrome. Simply put, we want to love, support, advocate and educate.”
Three years ago, Couch gave birth to her son Caleb, who has Down syndrome.
“This is not something I would have picked for my life,” Couch said, “but I have a new acceptance and strong love for people with Down syndrome because of what God has placed in my life.” Couch believes that no matter what our differences, God has still created us in his good and perfect image.
The Tri-State Down Syndrome Network believes, “To love someone is to accept them for who they are. Embrace others’ differences and learn to love what makes us all different.”
And Couch agrees, “The best way to get involved is to show acceptance and love.”