One in every 691 children in the United States is born with Down Syndrome. Around 400,000 Americans have the extra copy of chromosome 21 that leads to Down Syndrome, and it occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
Life has greatly improved for people with Down Syndrome compared to historically, in 1983 an individual was only expected to live to age 25 while individuals today often live to 65. However, it takes quality educational programs, stimulating home environments, good health care, and positive support from family and the community to ensure that people with Down Syndrome develop to lead fulfilling lives.
One of the ways that funds are raised for local programs and services that support individuals with Down Syndrome is through Buddy Walks. These walks also promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome in the communities that they occur. Last year over $9.5 million were raised by the Atlanta Buddy Walk to help support local initiatives and national research and advocacy programs.
In October of last year, Fire, Inc. Atlanta participated in the 2011 Atlanta Buddy Walk in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Particularly, they were there to help support Manager Scott Corn’s son Wyatt and their team, “Wyatt’s Warriors.”
“Every step taken, every dollar raised, will help ensure that each individual with Down syndrome in the United States will be able to do just that,” explained Scott Corn.
With the help of Fire, Inc. Atlanta Wyatt’s Warriors raised approximately $5,000 to help the cause. But more than that, their participation brought more people together to walk in friendship with individuals with Down Syndrome and help them to reach their full potential.