I was at the Mohawk Valley Down Syndrome Support Group Christmas party this evening, and it was a wonderful affair. This year it was the largest yet, at almost 300 people. It’s always amazing to me how many people you wouldn’t imagine to be there were there. It truly affirms the “6 degrees” theory. People I know from many other places were there for one reason or another, supporting with their money and their presence the beautiful lives of loved ones with Down Syndrome.
It’s a tough moment, finding out that your child has Down Syndrome, something you just can’t possibly prepare for, as I found out. But it’s also an amazing thing, to research, to find out just what you can expect, and to fight for every possible advantage you can give your child so she can achieve her ultimate potential. Then, to find a group that is dedicated to appreciating, and promoting the achievements and the lives of people with Down Syndrome in the area was a definite bonus.
The Mohawk Valley Down Syndrome Support Group is more than just a loose collective of people who have shared concerns. We are a family that honestly shares and cares for one another like I have never seen from another group. The generosity of people within the group knows no bounds, and events like the Buddy Walk, and Brody’s Buddy Ride bring positive media attention to the efforts of the group, as well as giving group members a chance to spend time together, to make those memories together that last a lifetime.
So, this evening I was in the ballroom at the Radisson Hotel in Utica, soaking up the atmosphere, eating good food, dancing, and taking pictures of my loved ones, one of whom just happens to have Down Syndrome. But the essence of the group is what is said on the party favor glasses they hand out. “I love someone with Down Syndrome.” She has Down Syndrome but it does not define or limit her. The sky’s the limit, and I am so excited to share the journey with her.