Annual buddy walk aims to raise awareness for down syndrome

Annual buddy walk aims to raise awareness for down syndrome
The buddy walk is a chance for kids and adults with down syndrome and those who are a part of their lives to come together and celebrate what makes them so special. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The buddy walk is a chance for kids and adults with down syndrome and those who are a part of their lives to come together and celebrate what makes them so special. (Image Source: WLOX News)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Christian, Marley, and Laura are just a few of the boys and girls in South Mississippi living with down syndrome. Like everyone else, they love to play and have fun.

"They're no different. Honestly, I think they're smarter and brighter than us," said Luke Davis.

The buddy walk is a chance for kids and adults with down syndrome and those who are a part of their lives to come together and celebrate what makes them so special. Luke Davis' god daughter, Marley, has down syndrome.

"So many people look at people differently, but this brings everybody together. Look out here. I mean, there's people of gender, race, we're all out here having a good time, and I mean it's wonderful," said Davis.

Many of the groups set up tents and hung team signs showing who they were supporting. We caught up with Christian's crew.

"Christian is 10 years old, and he has a twin brother. One boy has down syndrome and one doesn't," said Nikki Denoux.

Christian's twin brother, Luke, told us he doesn't care that his brother was a little different from him.

"I just like him now the way he is. I don't really care much," said Luke.

He let us know that he still does a lot of the things most brothers do.

"He just likes to come in my room and hog it a little and play with my toys," said Luke.

The attendees did a lap around a field at the Gulfport Sportsplex. Some of them held banners displaying their team.

Like Nikki Denoux said, the goal of the walk is simply to raise awareness.

"Just to get out into the community and have everybody see our children, see that they are functioning and happy members of society. To show everything that they can do. That they're just like regular kids," said Denoux.

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