Letter to the Editor

Down Syndrome Buddy Walk

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We, as families of children that have Down Syndrome, would like to thank you for your continued support of our children and all people with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. We also would like to remind you that our children are more like everybody else than different. Our children love to dance, bowl, have pets, go to school, spend time with their friends, and have jobs. They cope with everyday challenges and dream big dreams. We feel very fortunate to be able to live and raise our children in Northwest Iowa where we have supportive communities, citizens, and schools!

Our families are involved in the Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, and we are planning our 4th Annual Buddy Walk. The Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society is an organization dedicated to the education and support of people in Northwest Iowa touched by Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that affects one in every 800 live births. The Buddy Walk, our only fundraiser, allows us to provide educational opportunities and support to families across NW Iowa.

Our 4th Annual Buddy Walk is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 11 with registration starting at 1:30 p.m. at John F Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge. The event includes an ice cream social, activities for kids, silent auction, and featured guest, Mia Peterson. Mia Peterson has lived in Des Moines since August 2005. Mia has three jobs and likes to keep busy! Mia spent her childhood years in Webster City. Until her return to Iowa in 2005, Mia lived independently and worked in Cincinnati, Ohio for 9 1/2 years. Mia was co-editor and columnist for The Community Advocacy Press, a quarterly newsletter focused on the interests of people with developmental disabilities. Mia recently completed terms totaling 8 years as the first self-advocate on the Board of Directors of the National Down Syndrome Society. In Des Moines, Mia is currently serving as secretary of People First of Iowa, volunteer and ambassador with the local Up With Down parent-family support group, and serving as an appointed member of the Governor's Commission on Disability.

We would like you to join us in this short walk that anyone can participate in. If you are unable to participate in the Buddy Walk, but would like to make a donation to support this event, please make your check payable to "Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society" and mail it to Donna Seehusen, 50382 160th Avenue, Pocahontas, IA 50574. very $12 Registration fee includes a Buddy Walk? t-shirt.

Thank you for your consideration--we hope to see you Sunday, Oct. 11!

Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society Board:

Scott and Trudy Hallgren & Family, Spencer; Ray and Donna Seehusen & Family, Pocahontas; Dave and Jill Conlon & Family, Ruthven; Tara and Dave Rochleau & Family, Whittemore; Clayton and Liesl Vaughan & Family, Fort Dodge