(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Hundreds of people are uniting for a common cause and raising money for local families who have a loved one with Down Syndrome.
The 24th Annual Colorado Springs DSA Down Syndrome Walk is happening Saturday, Sept. 9, where friendships are made and can oftentimes, turn into family.
“So they have an extra chromosome, yes. Call it power, call it whatever you want,” said Tammi Moore, who has a son with Down Syndrome.
Some call it a genetic disorder, others call it a blessing.
“This is Evan from heaven. He’s 17 years old,” Moore said. “He attends Vista Ridge and he is on the varsity football team, and he has a lot of aspirations. Most importantly, he has his best friend, Jaemen.”
“Jaemen is 17 years old. He attends Pine Creek High School. He is on the unified Switchbacks team. He plays golf at Pine Creek, and he plays a lot of Special Olympics sports,” said Jaemen’s mom, Carmen Morales.
Jaemen is the piggy to Evan’s back, and the ball to his basket. These two are unique in their own ways, but share something in common — families that have never allowed their differences to define them.
“We didn’t know that he was going to have Down Syndrome when he was born. It was a surprise,” said Morales. “And honestly, the only knowledge I really had is that they were usually sick and didn’t live very long. Well, that is completely wrong. False.”
“With us, we just made sure that that was so untrue,” said Moore.
This coming Saturday is one Evan and Jaemen look forward to every year, when people of all ages and abilities join the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Walk.
If you’d like to register to participate, click here.
“The money that is raised goes towards the the groups that a support group for us, there’s a bunch of different age levels and these kids get to bond with each other and they get to hang out and families can rely on each other for things that we need. It also helps bring siblings and families together to meet other families,” Morales said.
It’s a place where buddies become best bros, and friends become family, like the Moores’ and the Morales’.
“When you have a kid that has special needs and you’ve gone through these medical challenges and possibilities of some really hard challenges with passing away and diagnosis and things like that, it’s so nice to have a family member and a friend be able to help with all of these things and get you through it. So I’d say we’re probably like sisters,” said Morales.
The Down Syndrome Walk is happening Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at Norris Penrose Event Center.