Welcome to the Team KIDS's (Kids Interested in Down Syndrome) fundraising page. We are raising money for the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation (DSRTF) by participating in the Fifth Annual Romp for Research on Sunday, October 3rd at 2:30p.m., at Asphalt Green in Manhattan. It promises to be a fun filled afternoon for all. Please contact our mom if you plan to go! The goal of the DSRTF is – "The identification of treatments aimed at improving learning, memory, speech and even the late in life neurological decline experienced by those with Down syndrome." For more specific details about DSRTF or the Romp for Research, please go to the website link under the photo.
The inspiration for Team KIDS is our three year old brother, Michael. This has been an amazing year for him. He started school, moved into a big bed and out of diapers, and learned lots of his letters.
He continues to enjoy sports and never leaves the garage without picking up a ball or a bat, even if we are just going to the grocery store. Last Spring he had a blast watching John Paul play flag football, but he especially liked it when John Paul was not in the game and was playing catch with him on the sidelines. Michael just kept signing football, win, lose, and coach.
Michael is talking much more now while still using an amazing variety of signs. Just today he said, "Mom." "Wowi" (Sophie) and then signed sad. Mom agreed that Sophie sounded sad as they went to see why she had just started crying in the family room.
Michael is a great helper around the house. The minute the vacuum comes out, he gets out the broom. He regularly carries his own dishes(and others') to the sink without being asked and loves to empty the dishwasher. Of course, he is not tall enough to see into the silverware drawer, but it all makes it in!
Michael does have an extra chromosome on the 21st pair, which is called Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome (only because a scientist with the last name of Down discovered it). This extra material causes some delays in his development, just like when there is too much traffic on the highway and you are moving along slowly. It will take him longer to talk, but fortunately therapists have discovered that using sign language allows all children to communicate before they are able to talk. This is a huge help to everyone that interacts with them. Finally, Michael will learn differently and it will take longer, but he will learn. We are not interested in "fixing" him (he is not broken), just encouraging the use of science to allow all individuals to reach their full potential. Just as the use of sign language has improved Michael's quality of life (being able to communicate much earlier without being frustrated), there is promising new research that may lead to better teaching methods and treatments for those with Down syndrome or other cognitive delays, and the entire population as well.
Have we mentioned how proud we are to have Michael as our brother? We can't imagine life without him! It makes us all so sad to think about the other babies, who have the same diagnosis as our brother, but are never given the chance to live. Michael is a true delight and we know that those parents, who have not yet met their babies, must just be filled with tremendous worry and fear! Hopefully, with more research that shows the best methods to teach and treat those with Down syndrome, society as a whole will feel more confident about raising such children. This is our prayer.
We thank you for taking the time to read about our brother and this organization. Each year we look forward to the Romp for Research. If possible, please consider joining us in October or making a donation (every little bit helps) to fund this important research!
Thank you so much for visiting our fundraising page!
Team KIDS (AJ, Jimmy, Cecile, John Paul, Michael, and Sophia) and their parents, Dan and Susan