Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why I Walk...

By Guest Blogger Lilly Capecci

I WALK for my sweet Eli. When he was born with Down syndrome we didn't know what that meant for his future health and happiness. The unknown scared us, but Down Syndrome Indiana was there: they provided us with a new parent’s packet full of resources and information on raising a baby with Down syndrome. They provided that much needed support at his birth and have continued to support our journey with Down syndrome throughout his first year- That’s right Eli turned ONE on January 31st!  

I WALK for my sweet Eli but I also walk for many other reasons...

I WALK for all individuals living with Down syndrome and I WALK for their families too.

I WALK to bring awareness, acceptance, and love for Down syndrome. 

I WALK for Down Syndrome Indiana(DSI) and Lafayette Area Down Syndrome Organization (L.A.D.S.O.).  They support individuals with Down syndrome and their families throughout the state of Indiana. They help bring in speakers, educators, advocates, and many other resources to families.  Both DSI and L.A.D.S.O. are dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome through education, support, and advocacy. We appreciate all the support they have provide us.

I WALK with the hope that someday the world will be more accepting of individuals who are differently abled-Down syndrome or not.

I WALK to bring awareness to the many blessings that a child with Down syndrome can bring to your life- in hopes that a mother with a prenatal diagnosis will choose life and not abortion out of fear of the unknown. My child is so much more than his diagnosis and no prenatal test will ever be able to tell a parent that! His life is no tragedy ­in fact his life is a blessing! I think we benefit as society to have greater diversity in our world.   

I WALK to raise awareness for accurate educational material to be given to parents after receiving a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis. That medical professionals who are delivering the diagnosis of Down syndrome are giving accurate and up-to-date information about Down syndrome.

I WALK to bring awareness to the many families waiting to adopt a baby with Down syndrome- so that a mother carrying a baby with Down syndrome who doesn't want to choose this journey will choose life - for that baby whose life has value and for the family waiting to love a baby born with Down syndrome.

I WALK to improve acceptance for individuals with disabilities because I dream of a day when our child won’t be labeled by the things he can’t do or that take him longer to do. 

I WALK to bring awareness to the many things my child can do and will do in his life. I bELIeve he can do anything that he wants to do and that he will make a great contribution to our lives and the world.

I WALK and PRAY for a day that the world will see my child and all our children as differently abled with something great to contribute to our lives and the world. Because with love and support from their parents, families, and friends our children will be able to accomplish many things and live life to their fullest capabilities and we   should be proud of that.

I WALK to show that Down syndrome has changed my life - my life is filled with MORE LOVE.  

We hope you will join Team Just BELIeve this spring at Buddy Walk® Lafayette on Saturday, April 30th or at Buddy Walk® Indianapolis on Saturday, October 8th.