SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Spreading awareness for those with Down Syndrome, throughout the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire, the 17th Annual Buddy Walk is returning to Forsyth Park.
Families will once again gather to celebrate each other and raise money for local programs. Hosted by the Lowcountry’s Down Syndrome Society, the Buddy Walk provides community fellowship for families who can sometimes feel so alone.
Muhammad Abdallah started going about 5 years ago.
“My mom was like, you want to go to this thing? I was like, oh yeah, I’d love to go, and it was like a breath of fresh air,” Abdallah said while standing in Forsyth Park. Abdallah attends to support his younger brother Zack who’s somewhat of a miracle.
According to Muhammad, “they said he wouldn’t live past pregnancy. Then, they said he wouldn’t like past three months, and if he lived past three months they said he wouldn’t be able to walk or talk, or any of these different things, or even speak.”
But Zack is thriving with down syndrome. His family, title sponsors of this year’s Buddy Walk, even named their convenience store after him. There are signs, including a yellow and blue ribbon on the logo, of how proud they are all over.
Immediate Buddy Walk past president John Bogardus said, while the event is mostly about awareness of people with down syndrome, it’s also a major fundraiser for LDSS programs.
“We have parent packets. We have meetings,” Bogardus said. “We do night of champions in the spring. We do a camp between the two school years for kids to not lose the advances they’re making with their therapies.”