Buddy Walk Brings Awareness to Down Syndrome

Alerus Center in Grand Forks Will Be Hosting the Annual Buddy Walk

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — We told you in April about the two babies from Grand Forks with a following on Facebook.  Clara and Cutler both have Down Syndrome.

Their mothers use the social media platform to bring awareness and acceptance to Down syndrome in a fun way.

Clara and Cutler have not only stolen their family’s hearts, but also the hearts of their 5,000 Facebook followers.

Since we last spoke with them, Clara’s mom Lana says she had a rough summer full of hospital visits, but has had some exciting moments as well.

“She has been doing tons of new things, she has started crawling, talking more, and doing a ton of signs,” said Lana Beaton.

As for Cutler, his mom, Amy, said he had a good summer health-wise, but they did find out he has sleep apnea.

But just like Clara, he has had some exciting moments too.

“He has started to pulling himself up to standing and taking little steps sideways, standing against the couch and going up some stairs,” said Amy Sanders.

Both families will be participating in the Buddy Walk Saturday, which is put on by the BUDS of Greater Grand Forks.

And they say it’ll be something you don’t want to miss.

“It’s going to be bigger and better than last year right,” said Sanders.

The walk was established by National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down syndrome Awareness Month.

The walk will have bouncy houses, a live band, and A&E’s Born the Way’s Sean McElwee will be speaking.

Lana said the Buddy Walk has already received record breaking donations.

“That’s why we really want to make this event huge is what we can do if we had more. We could participate in national conferences; we could bring in more speakers to help people. There’s just so much more that we can do,” said Beaton.

Not only does the walk raise money, but it helps grow support within the community.

“This is an amazing, amazing community. There are so many people and you meet these kids and adults as well but especially with the babies, you just meet them and hug them and everybody takes each other’s babies and caries them around like we’ve known each other for years. It’s incredible and I’m so happy to be a part of it,” said Sanders.

Clara, Cutler, and their Moms are just some of the people within the community that want to remind families that they’re not alone.

“If you’re pregnant and just learning, just getting a diagnosis, or if you just recently had a child with Down syndrome, you kind of at first feel like overwhelmed, scared, and alone, but gosh you’re not alone,” said Sanders.

The walk will be held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks from 9 am to 1 pm.

No registration is required.

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