The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society held its annual Buddy Walk

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) — The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society has held its annual Buddy Walk for 16 years.

Although for the past two years it has been virtual due to COVID.

On Saturday, the 17th annual Walk of Friends was back in person at Forsyth Park. Hundreds of people showed up for the Buddy Walk which was a one-mile walk around Forsyth Park.

There was an entry fee of $15.00 and all proceeds will go to Camp Buddy, two summer camps in Effingham and Chatham counties that help kids stay active and maintain skills during summer holidays.

Event organizers say the walk is important to the community, not only to physically help people with Down syndrome, but to raise awareness of what it really is, and that those who have it don’t are not so different from the others.

“Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition, it’s a copy on your 21st chromosome pair. We can’t cure it, but what we can do is embrace it, love it and use the strength of it. to make us all better,” said President Joe Marchise.

“It’s a celebration of life for them. They live their lives every day, just like all of us, and they want a chance to overcome these challenges and overcome the obstacles that we throw at them. We can do anything,” said Walk buddy co-chair Candy Bogardus.

The event organizers also talked about the language people use around people with Down syndrome, they are trying to move away from the term ‘special needs’ and instead use ‘differently disabled’.

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society plans to hold another Buddy Walk next year.

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