The UPS for DownS organization has provided our family with support beyond words after our daughter, Riley, was born 8 years ago with Down syndrome. We were surprised, confused, and scared. Through UPS for DownS we have learned how to raise Riley to achieve her maximum potential as an active member in her regular community school and church. Riley shows others every day that Down syndrome does not define her or limit her potential. It is simply a diagnosis. And yes, it makes some things hard for her. Very hard for her. But, that doesn't stop her or us from expecting her to do her best.
I have ran the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon since 2014 to raise money for UPS for DownS. For me it is very symbolic of Riley and her journey. Running is not something that I love. It is something that used to be hard for me - and long distances still are hard for me. Every year I challenge myself and push myself way beyond my quitting point because if I expect her to work beyond her comfort level EVERY DAY. If I expect that of her daily, then I can train hard all spring and run this race in her honor once a year. I run for Riley because she is my inspiration to do EVERY THING THAT I DO TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY.
Thank you for those of you who have supported my fundraising and continue to support me so that our family can give back to a local organization that has provided us with so much support. Bob serves on the Board of Directors, I create the annual UPS for DownS calendar, and recently we both began volunteering on the Annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser planning committee (which Bob co-chairs). We are “all-in” with this group and every dollar donated provides local support to families like ours with loved ones having Down syndrome.