Abby’s family is participating in the 2020 Buddy Walk to support inclusion for people with Down Syndrome. Abby, who her mom affectionately calls ‘Booboo’, is 16-years old and has Down Syndrome.
“We did not know about Abby’s diagnosis until she was born,” say Abby’s mom Veronica. “There definitely was a period of adjustment for us…we grieved for her, not knowing what kind of life she would have.” The last 16 years has taught them so much more than they ever thought they would learn about patience, love, freedom and perspective. Abby is so much more than they could have imagined. She has opened their heart!
Everyday tasks have not come easily. She has undergone open heart surgery and two rounds of chemotherapy from Leukemia. Abby’s family says Abby fights for everything she has, and they do not mean this in a traditional sense. She just wants what everyone else wants in this lifetime. She has to push past her limits to achieve those dreams: dreams of friendship that is hindered by speech delays and social judgement; dreams of college that is hindered by cognitive delays; dreams of dancing and gymnastics that is hindered by physical delays. Abby struggles to find her place among peers and always wants to be included in her community.
As Abby gets older, her family is learning it’s important to step back and give her more freedom. In the last few years, they have been inspired and are proud of how Abby is accepted among her peers. DSNetwork provides opportunities for Abby to create friendships and advocates for people like her to be included. The connections with other families help them learn about themselves and the world around them. “We are walking today to support a great organization: Down Syndrome Network that advocated not only for Abby but for all individuals with Down Syndrome and their families,”Veronica concludes.