Finding a Lifestyle That Works For You

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Friends for Life

If you are following my articles in CAWLM you know that I’m working on completing a list of ten goals for 2016 – all of which are centered on friends, family and community. One goal I specifically wanted to accomplish this year was the chance to participate in a walkathon — mainly because of the opportunity I would have to help bring awareness to a cause that is important to those that are close to me. With this goal in mind, I was extremely excited to receive an invitation to participate in a walk to support Down Syndrome — a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an additional chromosome. What made this walk special for me is that I have a personal relationship with an amazing young lady with Down Syndrome: my friend, Katie Duffy.

Katie can best be described as an energetic, fun-loving little girl that’s full of personality and spunk. While she is 10 years of age, she has the boldness of a professional wrestler. I first met Katie at a holiday party hosted by her aunt. As the newcomer to this party, when introduced to Katie, I was immediately greeted by her with a warm hug.

As the night progressed, I couldn’t stop watching Katie and her many talents. Although Katie has a condition that causes her to develop later than others, I was able to witness her dancing skills and flare for gymnastics. Every dance and performance move that she made was celebrated by her and her family.

By the end of the evening, Katie had me dancing and playing games along with her in a room full of her family (most of which were strangers to me). Katie truly opened my heart and reminded me how important it is to share myself with others without hesitation. I’m happy to report that I am now a regular guest at this family’s holiday parties. I’m guessing that my dancing skills landed me a permanent spot.

This lead me back to my original goal — to help bring awareness to a cause that is important to those that are close to me. Just as Katie welcomed me to her family’s holiday celebration, I pray that strangers will welcome her and others with Down Syndrome into their neighborhoods, schools and recreational activities. I would like to encourage all of you to find an opportunity that allows you to bring awareness or raise money for a cause you’re passionate about. One that will help people like my Katie Duffy.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to help others with Down Syndrome reach their full potential, visit dsgsemi.org. As always, thank you for following my journey. If you are interested in following my stories, please feel free to like my Facebook page #Drop in the bucket list.


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