2012 Buddy Walk-South Texas Style


I first became associated with the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas (formerly called the Down Syndrome Association of San Antonio) when I received confirmation that one of my twin daughters would be born with Trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down Syndrome.






Having received this news in the maternal fetal specialist’s office, we were given a pamphlet and offered apologies for having to be given such negative results of the amniocentesis.







After a few hours of hugs and blank stares, my husband and I looked through the material that had been provided by the local DS support group and began calling our family to give them the news.




(the twins with their older brother)


The next morning, nervous, anxious and scared about beginning my new life of not only a mother of twins, one who I knew to have special needs, I called the number on the pamphlet for the DS support group. The phone rang and rang and then went to voicemail. I left a message and waited for someone to call me back. I had no idea at the time that this non-profit group was staffed by parent volunteers. There was no one that was employed full-time in the office in March of 2005.








When I got home from work, my phone started ringing and ringing. As all of these volunteers and parents were getting home from work and checking their emails and voicemails, they all began calling a new parent who had just received a DS diagnosis.








In less than 24 hours, we went from feeling totally alone, to being embraced by this network of support. What a difference it made in hearing real stories from other mothers. We felt so much more reassured about what to expect in our new journey as parents.









I then went to their Early Childhood meeting at Coker United Methodist Church the following week. No one that I had talked to on the phone was going to be at this meeting. It was a totally new group of parents. I instantly fell in love with a 6 month- old baby named Darah, who just so happened to have Down Syndrome.









Her mother, McKenna Powell took me under her wing, as well as so many other parents. She shared her knowledge as well as her heart with us; the support group reference doesn’t really do this organization justice.


(DSA Christmas party)








After our twins were home and on schedules, I began to regularly attend the monthly meetings. I eventually would head the Early Childhood group and plan their meetings for three years. I wanted to give back in a way that so many parents did for our family. I would even take Catherine with me a few times to meet new parents so they could see that smile for themselves; a smile that always lights up your heart.






Now that the twins are school age and busy with sports and all other types of extracurricular activities, we don’t make it to very many monthly meetings. But we never, ever miss the Buddy Walk!









The 2012 San Antonio Buddy Walk takes place this Saturday, September 29 at Heroes Stadium, 4799 Thousand Oaks Drive, near Morgan’s Wonderland.

Registration begins at 7am and the walk at 9am.



(Catherine and her Mama Ott)







Funds raised at the Buddy Walk support the programs and services for people with Down Syndrome as well as their families. These programs are social, educational and always inspirational. As parents of children with extra special gifts, we want to stay up on the latest in medical and educational resources for our children to thrive in our community.


(Executive Director, Terri Mauldin and daughter Stephanie)




I will always be grateful to all of the mothers who took the time out of their busy lives to calm a total stranger.  They reassured us of how our sweet Catherine would bring us so many gifts, more than we ever thought possible.

Since our first phone call to the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, it has grown by leaps and bounds. It is now serving 950 families and all of South Texas. They now have a staff of five. It is truly an invaluable organization to our family as well as so many others in our community.








Our family feels blessed to be a part of the DSA of South Texas.

They come  together once a year to celebrate the abilities of our children.

The Buddy Walk promotes awareness and inclusion for all of San Antonio and beyond.

(Team Avery Buddy Walk 2011)







Do you recognize this cutie pie? This is Avery. She is the daughter of one of the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas families.

This picture was taken at the 2008 Buddy Walk. It recently went viral on the internet!

I guess this is proof positive that what starts right here at home can spread worldwide.

Come and see for yourself.  There is magic happening in San Antonio!

And it starts with all of these smiles.

For further details on how to find , join a team or to make a donation, please visit www.dsasa.org.



Stay Sassy Y’all.



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  1. So glad I haven’t put on makeup yet this morning! Thanks for touching my heart today, Laura.

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