JESSICA JOHNSON, Kennewick
As a mother of an 11-year-old daughter, Claire Swift, who was born with Down syndrome, I was over come with tears of joy at the 2012 Buddy Walk. More than 1,500 "fans" joined together to celebrate Down syndrome awareness and promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
I can speak first hand as to the importance of uplifting our loved ones (with or without Down syndrome) to share and show the gift of the unconditional, unwaivering love that someone "special" has to offer this world. Props to the founding members of the Down Syndrome Association of the Mid-Columbia and the countless others who volunteer and engage with the association to spread the message.
I am so thankful for the association and the lifelong friends I have made because of Down syndrome. The day my daughter was born I never would have thought that this "syndrome" could be such a positive, fun, exciting thing to experience! But now, thanks to kind, open-minded people and events like this, I know it is possible.