Every year DSAPI celebrates BIG in the month of February. This year was really special for our organization because it is the 21st year that DSAPI has been incorporated. For those of you who know Down Syndrome, you already understand the significance of the number TWENTY-ONE. This last Sunday in February, we celebrated Down Syndrome with our Annual Happy Walk.
There is a lot of work that goes into planning events of this size and so many people are involved in making it a success…people behind the scenes as well as those you see spearheading many of the activities through out the day. From the companies that donate their goods and services, large and small to the older members who attend ready to share of themselves and their stories with new parents whose kids are rocking their extra chromosome; all of these people are what make these events what they are…full of love, positivity, warmth and fun.
When we registered we received lotsa loot for Gelli to share with her brothers and sister. We proceeded to buy Gelli’s very first Happy Walk t-shirt and caught up with some of our good friends that were there to enjoy and celebrate Down Syndrome as well.It was so nice to have some of our family there with us to support Gelli, especially since so much of our family lives so far away. Thanks Tita Bebs and Mikko for loving Gelli so much!
I wasn’t able to stay so long this year for the Happy Walk, but I was able to participate long enough to walk away with a great feeling of empowerment and love for an organization who gives so much to it’s members. Every year DSAPI keeps their promise of bringing awareness to the communities about Down Syndrome during this very special month.
Each time we get together with all of the parents, I look for those parents whom we have connected with before and I look forward to connecting with new parents.
I am always excited to speak with parents of older children too. I enjoy learning from their experiences in parenting, as well as getting to know their children. One person from last Sunday that made an impression on me was John Paul Javier. John Paul’s dad Koko, introduced himself to our family was we were getting ready to leave the Sky Dome. Through our conversation, I learned that JP graduated high school and culinary arts school. He originally wanted to become a chef, (his sister later became a chef instead) but he has since recognized his calling to write. We talked about blogging and when I asked him what he blogged about, he said matter of factly, “Literature.” You can read what JP blogs about here.
Happy Walk was held at SM North Edsa. SM generously donates the SKY DOME every year for the event. They even hold sensitivy training so that their employees can recognize and understand how to help a child or adult with special needs in their stores if need be.
It was a HAPPY day for us despite the fact that I wasn’t feeling so well and we had to cut the day a bit short by leaving before lunch. Even if we weren’t able to stay for all the fun and games, we walked out of the Sky Dome feeling the love of all of those around us for our little girl.