Kicking Off Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Among October’s most notable awareness campaigns are Down syndrome and breast cancer, although it seems appropriate that similar causes share the stage, including those for Spina Bifida, pregnancy and infant loss, and disability employment.


Clockwise from top: Me, Hope, and Matt at the kickoff; John Paul and Hope resting up for the walk; James and Hope taking in all of the amazing energy.

But to kick things off for Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we participated in the 12th Annual Buddy Walk at the Wyckoff YMCA. We were able to visit with lots of friends and were surrounded by those who believe in our Hope as much as we do.

Although we got too late a start to form a team (there’s always next year!), my husband and I did sport matching shirts that made us incredibly proud. The shirts came from a company called Reeve’s Tees, which employs teens and young adults with Down syndrome to impeccably package the shirts with care and “extra love.” The company’s mission is for everyone to “Get Comfortable with Difference™,” and their original shirt, which we wore to the walk, reads: I Love Homies with Extra Chromies™. So good.


As if that isn’t enough, along with the shirts came a handwritten note from Walter, the man who packaged our order, and his business card. This personalization was very touching and well worth the wait.

Buddy Walks are taking place all throughout the country, and it is so much fun following everyone’s journeys to the finish line. Not only did the Wyckoff Buddy Walk connect families through fundraising, preparation, and community, but it also supported the National Down Syndrome Society, the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, the Special Olympics, and its own local special needs programs. We were honored to be part of such an impactful day.

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