Downs syndrome is special to me as I have been involved with friends of children with Down syndrome for years. Essentially the bottom line is I kind of have a soft spot for those least able to help themselves.
I have been blessed to have healthy children who are now adults with little help on my part. I mean I fed them, clothed them, and provided a roof but essentially in the grand scheme of things most of who they are in regards to their health was largely not of my doing.
I try to stay involved and do my part to make this world a better place. Like me, love me, or hate me that is always the goal, but nothing in most of our lives can compare to the hardships that these special kids face everyday. And nothing can make you appreciate how little our problems compare to the ones these kids face daily.
When you see a child overcome all that life has thrown to them and then get up with a ready smile when knocked down as if to say, "hey relax this is nothing," then thank you in their own way for being there all the same? Well words cannot describe that feeling.
My Godson was supposed to die at 3 months old. Every expert doctor told us he would. They took him off life support he died. But a few minutes later little Devin decided he had other plans. He decided he wanted to live and started breathing on his own. He was supposed to be brain dead. In fact every brain scan done over the last 3+ years says his brain is not growing at all. He would never be able to eat, walk, talk, or have any understanding at all. All the experts said so. Thanks to the hardheaded Grandparents, and Godparents if I may, we decided differently. And so did Devin.
Here is a pic of this beautiful 4 year old today with yours truly at the D.A.D.S event today:
It was a great honor to be there and to speak to those who attended. D.A.D.S. focus is in trying to help these kids be all they can be and bring out the best in them. The sheer joy from these kids to be able to spend an afternoon fishing at a lake or enjoying some of the things like the moon bounce, things most of us take for granted, was a sight to behold.
In many cases with special needs kids it literally can be a once in a lifetime thing.
The amount of volunteers who helped with this are too many to list. There were local folks who are heavily involved in charities such as Kaven Rumpol, owner of Highview Bingo, a recent guest on the MyViewMatters radio show, and tireless worker for the rights of charities and charitable gaming. Many thanks Kaven some of us know your dedication to the cause. We also had the corporate sponsors who I am sure I will forget one or two but notably McDonald's, with Ronald McDonald on hand of course, Wal-Mart, Bass Pro shops, and many others.
Here are a few pics from the kids day.
This is my new little buddy Charlie having fun playing with his dogs.
Or check the joy out on the face of little Brody below when he caught the first fish I saw.
Take a look at the lake and see all the kids, with their adult supervisors of course, enjoying a chance at the big one.
I would like to thank D.A.D.S. for all they do to help in their community and the work they do for these wonderful kids. I would also like to thank them for allowing Devin and I the opportunity to be a part of this.
In a word: Priceless.
Which brings me to this.
With all the idiots like Stumbo trying to sell us out to Churchill Downs these days trying to get a monopoly that puts charitable gaming out of business, it was a great reminder as if I needed one, of just how important these charities and events are to our community. More importantly how much it means to the kids.
I urge you guys to write me here at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved in your community and work with these kids, or help with donations. Charity begins at home not the corporate box office.
D.A.D.S is having their annual fundraiser on July 24, 2009 at the UAW hall on Fern Valley Rd. They have 600 tickets for sale at $30 apiece and all proceeds go to these wonderful kids. The event will include free food all day and a silent auction. They are trying to raise $25,000.
A drop in the bucket to what Churchill is trying to take from us.
At the very least call Greg Stumbo, Larry Clark, and their pet cronies, and let them know we know what is really for the kids. And it isn't a Churchill Downs monopoly that will ruin opportunities like this for our kids.
Seems he and some other idiots need a reminder of that.