By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – More than a hundred people gathered at McCullough Park Saturday for B.U.D.S Third Annual Buddy Walk to raise awareness and funds for people living with Down syndrome.
Attending the walk, 27-year-old Eric Lowe was born with Down Syndrome. "During the growing up teenage years it was hard when my other children were dating, driving cars, and going out with friends and Eric did feel a little left out," said Latresa Lowe, Eric's mother.
Now a board member for B.U.D.S, Eric was given a chance to have a social where he's made friends through events like the walk. "It's super fun, there's a lot of dances coming up and more buddy walks too and a lot of good stuff," said Eric.
Since joining, Eric's mother says his quality of life has greatly improved. "Everybody deserves their friends," she said. "I would hate to think what his life would be like if he didn't have his B.U.D.S. group."
Like many with living with Down Syndrome, it's hard for Eric to talk to others and he's often misunderstood. It's not until people take that extra step, that they realize his true potential.
"There are some times when people maybe discount what Eric can do, and when they get to know him better then it's like wow I had no idea he could do all that," said Latresa. "He has a very wide circle of talents and he can do a lot of things. It's just very important to allow him that opportunity to do those things."
Eric is only one of 400,000 people living with Down Syndrome in the U.S. and although it's something he will live with for the rest of his life, he doesn't let it define him. "All special needs people are valuable and they have a reason in our community," said his mother. "Sometimes it's easy to see them and pity them but that's not what they want. No one wants to be pitied. They want to be accepted and included and to just be a valuable part of society."
While B.U.D.S main goal was to take steps to inform the community of what Down Syndrome is, they're also trying to raise money for the non-profit organization. Many of the funds raised go toward putting on social events for the members and also giving out information packets for expecting mothers of children with Down Syndrome. Almost 100% of all funds stay in the Lubbock area.
You can learn how to make a donation or find out more about Down Syndrome by (clicking here.)
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