Yesterday, the entire family participated in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk hosted by the University of Texas. It was a walk to raise money and awareness for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I was the team captain for “Anna’s Buddies” and we raised $170. It was a very moving event… an older gentleman spoke as a self-advocate on the importance of friends and I got choked up. The walk was very short, just around a large square at the base of the UT Tower and along the way volunteers held up signs saying, “you can do it!” and “you are awesome!” Lady Gaga’s new song, “Born This Way” was playing and everyone danced while they walked. It was a lovefest and all about inclusion and acceptance. Yes! At the end of the walk, we all signed a giant petition to end the “r” word. One of the volunteers filmed Dominic for YouTube as he pledged to not use the “r” word. When asked what that meant, Dominic replied, “I pledge not to use the “r” word (retard or retarded) as a way to hurt someone or make fun of someone or insult other people.” You have never seen such a proud momma!
Here are some photos because I just had to take my camera.
On the way to the walk… Anna got ahead of us and looked so small walking with her stroller. Of course she had to bring a baby! Audrey was the lucky doll to come with us.
The view of the UT Tower as we walked up to it. It looked so pretty in the sunshine!
Dominic was checking out a statue and I just love how he looked walking away from it.
Before the walk, we had a bagel and listened to the speaker. I walked a little ways away from my family and got this photo of my mom. She has naturally curly hair and I love how pretty it looks with the sun shining on it.
Here is one of the volunteers. They were so enthusiastic!
My favorite photo… Anna walking the path while pushing Audrey. She was really into it! She danced and laughed and had a great time.
Our favorite sign holder, she was so happy and engaged with each individual with special needs. She was awesome!
One nice surprise was that we saw Anna’s teacher, Mrs. Malone, at the walk! We adore her!!!
Anna and Jenny mugging for me after the walk was over. Daddy was also taking photos so I caught them catching him, lol. Chris is right behind Jenny.
On the way back to the car, we ran across that colorful wall that I photographed Dominic in front of last year. I made Jenny stand there and she did so quite sweetly even though she didn’t want to.
I am the luckiest person in the whole world to have such an awesome, supportive, and loving family! We will be doing this walk every year and hope to recruit more walkers with us next year. Thanks for reading!