Fund raiser used to help network people with a Down syndrome

Fund raiser used to help network people with a Down syndrome
SPOKANE, WA - KLEW News is a proud sponsor of the annual Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk.

The fifth annual walk raised not only awareness for the genetic condition, but also a record amount of money.

Sophia Miraglio was there in Spokane and reports on this one-of-a-kind fundraiser.

It's hard to fully understand a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes, and even then it can be an uphill journey.

"We didn't know at first that he had Down syndrome until he was born, and so after the first diagnoses it was just a shock," said Beau’s Dream Team Member Alaina Stevenson.

"My daughter has down syndrome, so it has a lot of special meaning," said Event Director Kristi Zinn.

Step Up for Down Syndrome is a one-mile walk and the only fundraiser DS Connections Northwest holds each year.

"This walk is huge for DS Connections, I think it’s getting the awareness out there," said Zinn.

"It's a team that walks for Beau, and we've been together for about four years now since he was born," said Beau’s Dream Team Member Kyle Stevenson.

Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome. However a network for people with a Down syndrome diagnosis was often limited.

"We realized that for a parent that has a child diagnosed with Down syndrome there was no resource to connect with other families," said President of DS Connection Northwest Susan Villelli.

DS Connections Northwest began in 2009. An organization that has grown and offers support to those with Down syndrome and their families.

"And here we are five years later with an event this big," said Villelli.

Beau’s Baskets is another way that the Stevenson family helps out with a basket that is given to families that have new babies born with Down syndrome.

"It's just full of information, upbeat stories and just a bunch of positive stuff to show parents, that it's going to be so much more," said Alaina.

More than $23,0000 was raised at the walk, which will be used in North Idaho and Eastern Washington.

If you would like to donate to Beau’s Baskets or DS Connections Northwest, we've posted a link on our KLEW News Facebook page. Just 'like' the page to join.