The weekend of October 23rd and 24th featured two very successful Buddy Walks. Research Down Syndrome was invited to attend and delighted to help spread the word on the successes and promise of cognitive research. The Alexander’s Angels 4th Annual Buddy Walk was held on a beautiful day at Hecksher State Park on Long Island with approximately 2000 individuals, family members, friends and advocates attending. The very large parking lot was almost full! A variety of children’s events, costumed characters and great music, including the Chris Burke Band entertained the enthusiastic crowd. Following the Buddy Walk and lunch, the participants continued to enjoy themselves through the afternoon. Well done, Esther Gomes-Nieto(President of Alexander’s Angels), the Down Syndrome Advocacy Foundation, the Association for Children with Down Syndrome, the volunteers, the National Down Syndrome Society and the entire Alexander’s Angels team.
RDS also enjoyed participating in the Northwest New Jersey Buddy Walk at Lopatcong Municipal Park in Phillipsburg, NJ. Hundreds of walkers enjoyed lunch, participated in fun activities for the children, and swayed to the music. Hats off to Melissa Ehrhardt of the Down Syndrome Group of Northwest New Jersey, and to the other organizers and volunteers.
Kathy Ireland has a three month old niece, Polly, who was born with Down syndrome. Recently, she met with leaders in Washington, D.C., to speak out against the shortfall in NIH funding of Down syndrome research. In this article, she notes that funding is now reduced to a level of less than 0.01% of the NIH budget. In her comments, Ireland acknowledged the strong support of a bipartisan congressional caucus which is advocating an end to this shortfall in research, but, she noted there is one important voice missing, “Yours”. RDS agrees, and encourages everyone to support increased public and private funding of research.
Monica and David met, fell in love, and were married. Now, like any other couple, they are adjusting to married life and are busy establishing careers. Congratulations, Monica and David, on your new life together.
Research Down Syndrome is dedicated in its support of Down syndrome cognitive research, and the potentials for enhancing life opportunities for all persons with Down syndrome, leading to increased educational and employment opportunities—and perhaps, independent living. RDS believes in a future where couples such as Monica and David can establish truly independent lives together.
The Down Home Ranch outside of Austin is a working farm and ranch, where about 40 adults and children – including 20 with Down syndrome and other disabilities – live year round, caring for 340 rolling, forested acres of the Post Oak Savannah in Central Texas. At the ranch, people with and without disabilities live and work together – tending the animals, raising food, and celebrating life together.
An underbrush fire on a neighboring ranch prompted the founder of the Ranch, Jerry Horton, to gather supporters and stage a “Chain Saw Manicure”, to clear the space of brush and increase safety on the property. The volunteer “manicurists” and ranch residents enjoyed a day of work, and, we’re sure, a lot of fun as well.