Saturday, September 20, 2008

Allie's Allies

What's a Buddy Walk, Mommy?
The Buddy Walk is a walk that we have once a year to walk with and celebrate people that have Down syndrome. It is a day that we want people like you to know that we accept you for who you are. It also helps us teach other people that don't know you that having Down syndrome is okay. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. During this month groups all over the country walk to show they support, respect and accept people that have Down syndrome. We are walking in Birmingham, Alabama on your 11 month birthday - October 19th. We'd love to invite all of your fan club to join us, too. If they live too far away, they are welcome to support our cause by making a donation of any amount (every dollar helps and adds up) to your team, Allie's Allies.

What do we do with all the money? Can I buy a new Winnie the Pooh?
No, we can't buy anything with that money. The money goes straight to PADS - Parent Advocates Down Syndrome. That is the group we go visit every month. We learn all about Down syndrome and we meet other people with Down syndrome. It helps Mommy and Daddy a lot so we can learn the best ways to teach you things and how to find the best doctors for you. It helps you so that you can meet other babies your age, too.

Does anyone else get some of the money?
Yes, money also goes to the Adult Down Syndrome Clinic at UAB. It is only the 2nd of its kind in the nation! It will be a place where you can go when you get older to get medical help and perhaps learn skills you need to get a job and learn other things, too. It helps adults with Down syndrome right now, but it is brand new and needs money to put all the programs into place.

Will anyone come to the walk with me?
Yes, Allie. You have a lot of people that love you and they want the world to be a better place for you. If they can come, they will walk with you. In fact, we already have a bunch of people planning to walk with you!! We are really excited and they are, too!

What if they can't come to the walk?
We are asking them to make donations - they can do it online at the PADS website (see link to the side) or mail us their checks (made out to PADS of course).

What if they can't make a donation? Will you be upset?
No, I won't be upset. I understand people save their money and use it how they have planned to use it. I would ask them to consider adding our group as one of the charities they give to next year. But, most of all, I'd ask them to spread to the word to their friends and families that Down syndrome is not something to be afraid of. It is not as scary as they might think.

What is Down syndrome again? I forgot.
Down syndrome means that you were born with an extra chromosome - I call it your Superhero Chromo. This extra chromosome happened the second God started to create you and it is in every cell in your body. See, each cell in your body has 47 chromosomes instead of 46 like I have in each of my cells. Down syndrome is also called Trisomy 21 because the extra chromosome is usually on the 21st set of chromosomes. This extra chromosome has different effects on everyone with Down syndrome. Some effects are similar - which is why you may feel you look a little like someone else with Down syndrome, but some effects aren't similar. For example, you may learn to do something a lot sooner or later than someone else with 47 chromosomes. No one really knows what you will or won't be able to do. This is the same as any baby born with or without the extra chromosome. So, in the future, we will learn what your super powers are because of your extra Superhero Chromo. It is all rather exciting if you think about it!

So, everyone can help spread the word that people with Down syndrome are more like people that don't have Down syndrome than not alike, right?
Right! You sure are smart, Allie!

Okay, the Buddy Walk sounds like fun and thanks everyone for recognizing that I'm just like you, just a little younger.

Love and kisses from me, Allie B.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Allie and Mommy and Daddy too!

Granma has been out of town and since returning I've been very busy with lots of canning and freezing of fruits, vegetables, herbs, zucchini breads, and pestos, and catching up on mail.

I just caught up with all the neat things that are happening in your life. You are such a smart girl Allie to help us all understand about you. You can count on Grandpa and me to send some money and tell all our friends.

You sure are cute in your hearing aids. Grandpa wears the same kind as you. You be good, we'll talk later. Love, Granma