My son Christopher (CJ) is 8 years old and has Down syndrome. After missing the past two years we decided to attend the local Buddy Walk® sponsored by Acton up With Downs here in Panama City, Florida. Christopher did not really understand why he was there, but he sure did make himself known. As the Newscasters were on the stage at the Park Christopher decided he needed to run up on the stage and say hello to everyone through the microphone. No one knew what he was saying, but he was saying a lot. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to the news anchors for being patient with him as he took over the limelight for just a few minutes. Christopher's favorite moment though was when he received his medal and trophy for walking. He was so very proud of them that even two weeks later as I write this he still wants to wear his medal. As a parent I was able to re-kindle some old friendships and make some new acquaintances. As an advocate for my son it was a realization of how much work still needs to be done in this community, in raising awareness and acceptance for our children. The most memorable moment for me at this year's Buddy walk was the attendance of a family that lost their son in a tragic accident. We all could feel her pain, and grief. Though her son is no longer with her she continues to advocate for Down syndrome because she knew how very special each and every one of them are; and how very blessed we are to have them in our lives. My son was proud to be a part of this year's Buddy Walk®. I thank everyone for their hard work and dedication in providing it for us. The Buddy Walk® this year was the start of a new journey for Christopher and his family. Buddy Walks are popping up in many different communities. Next year we will see even more! I encourage everyone that is reading this to plan on attending one next year. I encourage everyone to include those that are not currently active in voicing for Down syndrome to attend. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much these children and adults are just like their typical peers, and how much fun you will have. Linda Miyahira has also shared her story about her son. Search "Ronan" and you'll find it. I encourage you to give it a read. Her unique position as a social worker for kids with developmental disabilities gives her some interesting insights that many of us are still learning.