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] 

World Traveler
A World Traveler
A World Traveler
World Traveler

My 35 years on this Earth have been filled with travel, and I can't wait to share this with you. To begin, I was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico and went to school in English and Spanish in interesting places like Coqui and Central Aguirre. I also made many road trips for three years over two mountain ranges to San Juan and Ponce for chemotherapy and radiation for my leukemia. My favorite Puerto Rican memory is catching coconuts from the trees my brother John climbed so we could make coconut cups and chips. When my brothers David and Joe graduated from the Naval Academy, we traveled to Annapolis, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The military parades were the thing for me. We then spent time in Chicago before permanently moving to Louisiana, the world's most famous spot for Cajun food. The winter in Chicago gave me the chance to do tobogganing and cross country skiing. In New Iberia, in Boy Scouting during two summers, I trekked, did caving, blacksmithing, rock climbing, repelling and making real horse shoes at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. There were also summer camping trips with my Troop at Mt.Bayou, Tunica Hills and Sam Houston, Texas. With Special Olympics, I officiated at the Summer International Games, New Heaven, Connecticut as an Aquatics Stroke & Turn and Timer Judge in the Athletes As Officials Program. As an athlete swimmer, I competed at the Summer International Games in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. I connected with people from all over the world! Self-Advocacy started new travels for me like to the International People 1st Conference in Alaska and the National Down Syndrome Congress Conventions in Boston and Sacramento. I had a great challenge giving my Nomination Speech for the NDSC Board and giving a presentation on the Discussion Panel. A few years ago, the Piontek family had a cruise to Bermuda. All my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins in one place for great togetherness! I have a big family with brothers and sisters living in many wonderful cities and countries that makes traveling special. We visited with Joe in Germany and Austria, and later twice in Rome. We could walk from his apartment to the Vatican for daily Mass and stop for gelato when it was hot. From Italy, we even made a side trip to Poland and rented an old berry farm for a week. Breakfasts were fresh raspberries on pancakes, of course. This year my brother, Daniel, made his perpetual religious vows and we traveled and stayed in ancient Monasteries in Southern France and Corsica for that. Back in the U.S., I have a sister, Jenny, in Arkansas, David in San Diego, John in Miami, and a sister, Christine, right here in New Iberia with me. That all makes for some tripping around. And now my brother, Joe, lives in Peru. Maybe that's another trip. Here I come, Machu Picchu. Your Self-Advocate friend.

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Tony G. Piontek, United States, LA
9/21/2012 4:45:09 PM
I really like the chance to share my experences with others and giving back to the community and the nation due to the work I do as your NDSC Board of Director as your new member. I'll continue to keep on serving for parents who have develop- mentally challenging obstacles to support their efforts and to understand D.s medical issues. I'AM ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU and have any questions write me"

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