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Buddy Walk®: Powered by Nathan
Nathan Sligh - 19 months
Nathan Sligh - 19 months
Buddy Walk®: Powered by Nathan

Last year, our family participated in the Gulf Coast Down Syndrome Society's Buddy Walk® over in Gulfport, MS - we "piggybacked" on another team, Christian's Crew. Although we enjoyed spending time with Christian and his family (friends of friends), we decided that this year it was time to form our own team, and we chose to walk closer to home, in Mobile, Alabama. Unfortunately, the Buddy Walk® date wasn't great for a big chunk of our family and friends. October 15 is opening day of bow season down here (deer hunting, for those who don't know), and my grandmother's 90th birthday party was also planned for the same day (350 miles away). And, of course, most of my friends have school-age kids who play soccer or football or some other sport on Saturday mornings during October. When we registered, I honestly wasn't sure if anyone other than our nuclear foursome would show up, but we plunged in with both feet anyway, in hopes of meeting other local families touched by T21. Despite the many conflicts, I'm pleased to say that we had a great, if small-ish, turnout for our team, Powered by Nathan. My best bud from our years in north Alabama came from 350 miles away, along with her daughter, as did my mother-in-law. Our next-door neighbors joined us, as well. In addition, my daughter's current physical therapist (she has cerebral palsy) came out with her son, as did her long-time physical therapist from Children's Hospital in Birmingham. Yes, that's right - Miss Carrie drove 250 miles each way, just for the day, to join us for Nathan's Buddy Walk® (Bonus: Miss Carrie is SUPER FUN!) What I Loved About the Buddy Walk®: Being surrounded by friends and family on a beautiful Saturday morning. Looking around at the diversity to be found within the faces of the "buddies" and their friends and family members. Knowing that there wasn't a person there who would have rejected or mocked my son because of his extra chromosome. There is only one thing I didn't love about the Buddy Walk®: knowing that, although the combined population of Mobile and Baldwin Counties is around a half million people, only a few hundred came out to experience the Buddy Walk®. The Buddy Walk® tagline is "Get Involved. Be Inspired." So many people missed out on the opportunity to be inspired. One of the greatest things about the Buddy Walk was that it gave me the chance, even if just for a few hours, to live in the "Buddy Bubble" - a place where everyone celebrated, loved, and embraced people with Down syndrome. More pics and info about our family can be found at:

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