Colby Baker is 20 and was born with Down syndrome. But, that has done anything but keep him down in life. Despite having an eating disorder that limits his eating to soft foods, Colby has prospered both physically and socially. While graduating from Roseburg High School in 2012 with a GPA of 3.85 (taking mainline classes as well as Special Ed), Colby has and remains a beacon in our community. Participating in Special Olympics since the age of 11, Colby has amassed over 50 medals, including 23 Golds. He has been the bat boy for our local American Legion Baseball team for the past 5 years and was student Manager of the High School wrestling team for five years and, this past year became special assistant to the Head Wrestling Coach. He is an avid Oregon Duck fan and this past Spring was the Honorary Captain of the Ducks baseball team in a game against Utah, and threw out the first pitch. He has been made an honorary Douglas County Deputy Sheriff, and Fireman, and an honorary Roseburg Police Officer. He is also a member of the Umpqua Lions Club and last year received the Most Inspirational Award at their annual banquet. He has been the top fund-raiser six out of nine years at the Douglas County Special Olympics Walk-A-Thon and finished second twice and third once the other three years. His mother passed away from Cancer in November 2012 which, while devastating for Colby, also made him stronger and more determined in his life. To honor his mom’s memory, the following year he signed-up to bowl in Special Olympics even though he had never bowled before because his mom had been an avid bowler. All he did was win the Gold Medal and, when the police officer put the Gold around his neck, Colby pointed to Heaven and said, “This is for you, Mama”! That is just who Colby is, and it brought tears to those observing the ceremony. Colby turns 21 in July and this milestone birthday will be held between games at an American Legion baseball double header with a huge crowd. It will mark the sixth birthday party held at the ballpark with a couple thousand of his closest friends. There will be speeches, awards and kisses from beauty queens. But most of all, there will be love and acceptance for a young man who brings a smile to the face of everyone he meets and a greater understanding of the abilities of someone with a disability when given the opportunity.