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

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Richard's Story - Just Do It!
Richard Marmolejo and friend Renee with Maria Shriver at Pier del Sol
Richard Marmolejo and friend Renee with Maria Shriver at Pier del Sol
Richard's Story - Just Do It!

On October 14, 2012, the Special Olympics Organization held a function for all Special Olympians. It was held at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA. My square dance group, the Footstompers of West Covina were invited to perform as part of the entertainment. All the participants were treated to lunch and given a pass to go on all the rides. Best of all, I met Maria Shriver and took a picture with her. It was an exciting day to see a lot of old friends and it was a beautiful sunny day to be at the beach. I have known for a long time that I have Down syndrome. A lot of my friends have it too. My mom told me that my brain, legs, and heart have a harder time working than some people’s. My mom has a bad back, and everybody has something that they have to deal with. I am a busy guy and I have a good life. I am 42 and I have a girlfriend named Hermie. I go to a day program at the YMCA called Stride. I have a lot of friends there and we go on fieldtrips and work on reading and math. My favorite part is helping with recycling newspapers. There are a lot of things I’m interested in. I like square dancing and karate. I compete and have a purple-green belt now. My motto in life is like Nike’s, “Just do it!” I am an adult with Down syndrome and I love my life! 

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