The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
[email protected] 

Colby Makes a Difference
Colby Makes a Difference

Colby Baker is 20 and was born with Down syndrome. But, that has done anything but keep him down in life. Despite having an eating disorder that limits his eating to soft foods, Colby has prospered both physically and socially. While graduating from Roseburg High School in 2012 with a GPA of 3.85 (taking mainline classes as well as Special Ed), Colby has and remains a beacon in our community. Participating in Special Olympics since the age of 11, Colby has amassed over 50 medals, including 23 Golds. He has been the bat boy for our local American Legion Baseball team for the past 5 years and was student Manager of the High School wrestling team for five years and, this past year became special assistant to the Head Wrestling Coach. He is an avid Oregon Duck fan and this past Spring was the Honorary Captain of the Ducks baseball team in a game against Utah, and threw out the first pitch. He has been made an honorary Douglas County Deputy Sheriff, and Fireman, and an honorary Roseburg Police Officer. He is also a member of the Umpqua Lions Club and last year received the Most Inspirational Award at their annual banquet. He has been the top fund-raiser six out of nine years at the Douglas County Special Olympics Walk-A-Thon and finished second twice and third once the other three years. His mother passed away from Cancer in November 2012 which, while devastating for Colby, also made him stronger and more determined in his life. To honor his mom’s memory, the following year he signed-up to bowl in Special Olympics even though he had never bowled before because his mom had been an avid bowler. All he did was win the Gold Medal and, when the police officer put the Gold around his neck, Colby pointed to Heaven and said, “This is for you, Mama”! That is just who Colby is, and it brought tears to those observing the ceremony. Colby turns 21 in July and this milestone birthday will be held between games at an American Legion baseball double header with a huge crowd. It will mark the sixth birthday party held at the ballpark with a couple thousand of his closest friends. There will be speeches, awards and kisses from beauty queens. But most of all, there will be love and acceptance for a young man who brings a smile to the face of everyone he meets and a greater understanding of the abilities of someone with a disability when given the opportunity.

Vote for your favorite story! Each month, the two stories with the most votes will be featured in the NDSS E-Newsletter.*


Your email address will be used for voter tracking only, and will not be used for future NDSS emails.
Click here to become a fan on Facebook.
Click here to follow us on Twitter.

*Votes will be reset at the end of each month.

Full Name
Comments (1,000 character limit)

S. A. Razzak, Bangladesh,
10/9/2014 4:28:35 AM
Well done Colby...I am inspired reading your story. Being a father of a son who born with Down Syndrome, I am here to search the successful life of our special kids that encourage us to step forward to complete our journey though we have very limited resource for our kids in a country like Bangladesh...but we never give up...we have to move on knowing that our kids can do...Good luck Colby...Looking forward to know more about your life!! Warm regards.

Lynne Smith, United States, OR
6/9/2014 11:33:22 PM
Colby inspires each of us to live our lives to the fullest. He's an amazing young man!

Wendy Shryock, United States, OR
6/1/2014 1:10:46 PM
I am blessed with knowing this exceptional young man. His smile brightens the room and the attitudes of all when he walks in a room . He always has a kind word or a hug for everyone. This is a young man when faced with any challenge does not back down ; it gives him more of a reason to charge forward !!! I can say this young man is truly loved by all!!! Let us not forget all the pretty girls... We love you Colby!!! GO DUCKS!! that ones for you .

Patti Beutler, United States, OR
5/29/2014 7:19:39 PM
Great guy

Thelma Mandera, United States, OR
5/29/2014 1:04:54 PM
Our family loves this young man Colby so very much. We know you will go far in life and thanks for being an inspiration to us and so many others. Love and Prayers from the Mandera Family Thelma, Melissa, Brandon. Stephanie, Javier, Hector, Jessica Hernandez and Raymond :)

James Coon, United States, OR
5/29/2014 10:58:36 AM
This young man gives back to the community and is a blessing for all he helps. He has been through a lot, but just keeps on going. He is one tough guy and never gives up.

Ashley Freeman, United States, OR
5/29/2014 12:20:33 AM
Go Colby!!

Patti Knight, United States, OR
5/28/2014 11:07:04 PM
Way to represent Colby! See you at your 21st.

Craig Hanson, United States, ID
5/28/2014 10:50:20 PM
You are a great man Colby. Stay involved and be a leader.

Judi Taylor, United States, MT
5/28/2014 9:50:43 PM
Colby is an inspiration for everyone. He's more determination than six people. Love this young man to the moon and back. Keep of keeping on Colby. You are the greatest!

Tabatha Burton, United States, OR
5/28/2014 8:12:10 PM
I have had the pleasure of meeting Colby many years ago when his dad was my supervisor at my job. You cannot help but smile when he is around as his positive attitude and affection for life fills the room. He is an amazing young man!!

Nurse Angela, United States, OR
5/28/2014 7:01:25 PM
You're an Insporation Colby! Keep it up bud! Nurse Angela 💕

Charles james Batman, United States, OR
5/28/2014 4:54:25 PM
Cool and knoe him he cool

Allan Painter, United States, OR
5/28/2014 2:47:07 PM
Colby, Thank you for being a beacon of light to our entire community. You've touched many lives and inspired many RHS students to greatness. You're mama would be proud of the man you've become. If we all made half the effort that you have to overcome life's speed-bumps this would be an amazing world. May the Lord continue to bless you as you've blessed us

Jipsii Gilman, United States, OR
5/28/2014 1:00:59 PM
Good luck buddy!

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors