St. Marys family raises awareness for Down syndrome in New York


ST. MARRIED, W.Va. (WTAP) A little boy from St. Marys was able to shine brightly in Times Square this past weekend to help celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

“Joy. Happiness, yes, it brings us a lot of happiness,” said Nicole Hendershot.

She was talking about her youngest son Weston Hendershot. He is a happy 11 month old baby from Saint Marys. Weston was diagnosed with Down syndrome, a condition that he and the rest of his family are learning more about every day.

“I think getting the diagnosis is right… it’s overwhelming. There is nothing wrong with treating and then educating. This is what it takes to be the parent of anyone with a disability or in difficulty, ”said Nicole.

As Nicole Hendershot and her family learn about Down syndrome, they also connect with other families in similar situations … which is why Nicole decided to take Weston to New York after being selected for participate in the National Down Syndrome. Video presentation of the Times Square company.

“So in the morning at Time Square, for an hour, they take 500 photos of people with Down syndrome and that kicks off the whole Buddy Walk program,” Nicole said.

The Buddy Walk was performed virtually this year due to COVID. But Nicole took Weston to Central Park to walk. The purpose of the walk and the photo display is to raise funds and support families who have a child with Down syndrome.

“Overall, heartwarming because these are people like us going through the exact same stages, doctor’s appointments and diagnosis that we’ve all been given,” Nicole said.

Nicole says there are 250 other Nation Wide Buddy Walks. The West Virginia Virtual Buddy Walk takes place October 2-3. A walk that will not only benefit little Weston and the Hendershot, but all people with Down’s Syndrome.

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