Photo Caption: Cooper with his Crew
The Buddy Walk is the premier advocacy event to raise awareness for Down Syndrome in the US. This year, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is hosting over 100 buddy walks around the nation so people can come together to celebrate Down Syndrome awareness.
Did you know that approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome? That's about 6,000 every year!
Cooper was born with Down Syndrome. He's a sweet, six-year-old boy who loves soccer, monster trucks, and being with his cousins and friends. The Buddy Walk is one of the highlights of his year. He loves it so much; he's done it five times! And he's already talking about next year's walk!
Every year at the walk, Cooper's grandmother, Erin, gives everyone who walks with Cooper a gift. Something to thank them for their support and to commemorate the special day.
This year Erin came up with the perfect gift—wooden heart keychains with a "Cooper's Crew" engraving. To make them, we drilled holes in four dozen hearts so she could attach keychain rings, and we worked with an engraver to etch the messages.
A few weeks ago, the big day came. Cooper and nearly 50 of his family and friends showed up in Columbus, Ohio, with more than 14,000 supporters to walk in the Columbus Buddy Walk. Afterward, Erin gave his crew the wooden hearts, and they were a huge hit! Everyone left with their hearts filled with love and a reminder in their pockets!
We are honored to have played a small part in this event and see Cooper and his crew enjoying the day! It's a privilege to help raise awareness of Down Syndrome and celebrate Cooper!