Building Friendships

Building Friendships


(gentle pulsing music) – I was a special educator
before I had children, and then I had my younger
son, who has Down Syndrome, and I always like to say,
then it became personal. – When we got the diagnosis,
when Brandon was born, it was just, it was scary. I was sad, I didn’t know
what to do, who to talk to, I didn’t wanna be
someone else’s sad story. – I remember actually,
I had gone to a checkup, and I told the medical assistant,
my baby has Down Syndrome, and she looked at me
and she said, I’m sorry. And I remember being
so angry, at, you know, why are you telling me
you’re sorry, and then I said to myself, well, look
at how you’re acting. What do you expect her to say? And I was like, you know, no more. I’m not sorry he is my son. When I first got connected with
the Chesapeake Down Syndrome parent group, was actually
the hospital social worker gave me this index card, and
there was a phone number, and, you know, I had this
woman on the other line who was upbeat and cheerful and happy, and I was like, how can
you be upbeat and cheerful and happy, you know I
just couldn’t understand. And she gave me hope. I feel like our boys
immediately connected. – [Heather] Once Brandon gets
home, he does ask to go over to Ian’s house, like he
hasn’t seen him in weeks, but he just saw him a couple hours ago. – [Laura] So tell us about Brandon. – Brandon is my friend. – [Laura] What kind of friend? – My friend forever. I love my BFF Brandon. Me and Brandon are in a class together. And we like to hang out with each other. – They’re each others
most favorite people, and I think that, for
us, how grateful we are for the two of them to have each other. This is a lifelong bond. – Everyone wants their
child to have the best, so do the best, their best. And it’s no different from your child with having Down Syndrome. – [Laura] What do you
wanna be when you grow up? – I’ll be a YouTuber. – Our group changes lives,
and our group changes lives, not just for the people with
Down Syndrome, but for those of us who love someone with Down Syndrome. And we keep growing, and we
keep welcoming new families, and what giving does, is it allows us to expand how we support families. We have programs for our little
guys, so our Little Buddies, and we have our Big Buddies,
our school-age programs. We have programs for our
teenagers and adults. To me, I just feel like
it’s all about connection, and we have so many different events that we do throughout the year. The Buddy Walk is this
incredible event that has grown in five years, and I’m always
beaming from ear to ear about it, because it is just such a way to celebrate life with
Down Syndrome, because life with Down Syndrome is
something to celebrate. We are strong, but
together we are stronger. And that’s what I feel CDSPG let’s us be. And being able to have somebody tell you that what’s next is great, and
you’re gonna love this kid, and you’re gonna love this life, you know, it doesn’t just get better, it gets great, and when you give, you’re
changing lives, for all of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *