Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Buddy Walk 2012

We participated in our 3rd Buddy Walk this past Saturday.  We lucked out with no rain, comfortably cool temps, and a great turnout for our team, Lexi Lou's Whos.  Both family and friends came to the event to walk the 2.6 miles around the canal in downtown Indianapolis.  No one fell in.  Always a sign of a successful walk.

 By the numbers: 
Lexi Lou's Whos raised $2375, placing us in the top 20 of a record 188 teams.  And we had 26 walkers for our team, all decked out in Seuss-style (or IU) red and white.

Even our hardcore Perdue Purdue alumni wore more red and white than she ever had in her life.
Such a trooper! (Thanks Jen.)

Alexis has taken to combining Pops and Grandma Connie, into "Papa Connie".  That way, she can spend
 less time talking and more time lovin'.

Susan and Lacey joined us for the first time.  We loved having you there!

Not sure who loves the other more, Lex or Uncle Ron.  I think it's mutual adoration.
Paula with Nick, and Amy and Kenzie with Chris Burke. 

The girl loves her freedom to just GO.
So anyway, back to the numbers.  Nationally, there are over 250 Buddy Walks.  (There were 17 when it started in 1995.)  DSI surpassed their fundraising goal of $220,000 and there were an estimated 5000 walkers in all (I think).
Another statistic: our team consisted of 12 wheels.
So maybe to say we had 26 "walkers" isn't quite accurate.  At least 4 kids were in wagons the whole time, and my dear friend Amy was in a wheelchair.  She's stubborn and insisted that she was going to do the walk on her crutches (torn miniscus--not fun).  But luckily, her boyfriend is sneaky and Sean got her in a wheelchair.  To make it better, Amy and her daughter Kenzie got out the bedazzler and went to town.  There was glitter, there was fur, sequins and pompoms on that blinged-out wheelchair...that is the sign of a true friend.

In attendance: Lexi, 4 grandparents, 5 aunts and uncles, 2 parents, 2 siblings, 6 cousins, and 6 dear friends.
This was the 3rd Buddy Walk we've participated in, and definitely my favorite, simply because I've met more and more people and was able to talk to a lot more people than I have in the past.  It was overwhelming the first year.  We didn't even go to our very first Buddy Walk when Lexi was 6 months old, not only because she'd had heart surgery a month before, but because I wasn't yet ready to celebrate Down syndrome.

By the next year I was ready to try it, and it was overwhelming.  The sea of people is incredible, in an overwhelming yet powerful way.  Seeing older kids and adults with Down syndrome was stressful, because it's the unknown of Alexis's future that is my biggest worry.  Of course I worry about all my kids and what their future holds, but it's more so with Alexis.  There will be more challenges, more unknowns, but I look at her and her infectious smile, her determined stride, and her twinkling eyes that are only magnified by those thick lenses and I know she'll be okay.

And now I've gotten to know more and more moms, more dads, more families of kids with Down syndrome and I know I'm surrounded by a stong and capable community of people that want great things for this little girl.  I met a mom in my neighborhood when Alexis was first born.  Her daughter, who has Down syndrome is exactly my age, and the mom told me of how, when her daughter was young, she had to go to court to get her on a soccer team.  We've come a long way.  This community is getting stuff done.

Our team (in red) within the sea of Buddies

And as I walked along with my family and friends, and thought of people who had never even met Alexis, but still wanted come walk with us or donate to our walk, I see another support system for Alexis, maybe even more strong, because we love her to the moon.

Thats right.  We had 3 celebrities in our midst.
Thank you for you love and support.  We are grateful to all of you that walked with us, that donated, and those who were with us in spirit.  Next year's walk is set for October 12.  See you there!


1 comment:

  1. What a FANTASTIC smile she has!!! Congratulations on a successful and joyful walk!!