I first met Sydney when we had first grade together, and we've been friends ever since. Sydney has Down syndrome and in high school she moved away to Bellingham, WA. Three years later I decided to go the the University located in Bellingham and we would see each other weekly. We are so close. We call each other gal pals and best friends, but that scratches the surface for how much she really means to me. Sydney has been a natural athlete forever. Participating in swimming, bowling, basketball, and her favorite, skiing. When her family invited me to go skiing with them I was honestly doubtful of Sydney's skiing skills, thinking I would have to wait for her often. When we got to the mountain, wow, I couldn't have been more wrong. This girl could shred! Without batting an eye, she would ski down black diamonds. She was not scared, she never complained, and she never doubted her ability. Oh, and she beat me down the mountain! I was in shock, and felt embarrassed to ever think such things. When we were in the lodge getting hot cocoa, Sydney was taking her time eating and her dad was ready to hit the slopes again. Her dad, getting impatient, just sat down and took a deep breath. He said to me, "Sydney has taught me a lot, but most of all she has taught me patience." Then he looked to me and said the words I will never forget, "Sydney has taught me more about life then I might ever be able to teach her." Sydney has taught me to never doubt anyone with intellectual disabilities. With hard work and loving support nothing is impossible. Sydney has taught me unconditional love, to care, and a deeper meaning of life. I believe if everyone saw life through Sydney's eyes the world would be a much much better place. Sydney has changed my life forever. She is my best friend. She is my gal pal and I will love her forever.