Permian Basin Down Syndrome Support Group Hosts First "Buddy Walk" 10/26/13
CBS 7 News
MIDLAND, TX-The Permian Basin Down Syndrome support group held their first ever "Buddy Walk" around Midland College today.
The support group is the only one of its kind here in the Basin.
Organizers and founders of the support group were told not to expect a big turn out with it being their first walk, but boy where they wrong!
Nearly 1,000 families came out with their children and loved ones to bring awareness and show how proud and happy they are to be a parent of a child with Down Syndrome.
Janice Rodriguez and Monica Orosco are two of the three founders of the Permian Basin Down Syndrome Support Group--a group that hasn't been around the Basin in over 30 years.
Both ladies, who are now best friends, have 3-year-olds who were born with Down Syndrome.
The picture to the right is of Nicky and Lilly, two very happy and full of life babies. Both ladies who say their little ones are their world, didn't always feel so happy.
"I was a little bit sad at first, I cried for a couple of days, I mean we all mourn that child that we were going to have, but you try to learn as much as you can about it, just learn how to move on, and I wouldn't want it any other way," said Orosco.
Rodriguez and Orosco want all families to know they're not alone in this brand new journey that life has blessed them with, and don't want them to feel ashamed or embarrassed.
"I want parents to know that it's ok, donít worry about what anyone else thinks or says, your going to get those stares especially when they start acting a little naughty, but it's ok what kid doesn't throw a tantrum in the store," said Orosco and Rodriguez.
Both ladies formed this support group after realizing they didn't have much resources or anyone to turn to when they had their children. They want the community to know that they can lean on and go to them with any questions, concerns or just for support.
So far the group has done social events to meet all the children with Down Syndrome in the community in order to make life long relationships, like the kind Janice, Monica, Nicky and Lilly share.
"It is the best thing that has ever happened to our family and it just brightens our world," said Orosco and Rodriguez.
All the money that was raised from today's walk will be divided between the National Down Syndrome Society and the support group here in the Basin.
Any families who have children with Down Syndrome who are looking for resources or just need a group of close friends to relate to and share advice with, are more than welcomed to join this growing group of families.
To get in contact with Janice and Monica you can visit their facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/690611634299525/ or call Janice at 432-634-2999.