When we first got Ruby's diagnosis, a friend told us about the Buddy Walk. At that time we were still trying to process everything, and given how careful we chose to be about exposing Ruby to the general public in her first six months, we opted to skip it. But since early summer, we've been planning for Ruby's first walk this fall.
Leading up to the walk, I was amazed at how many orders for Ruby shirts came in. I had voiced our desire for people to buy a shirt to wear around town in an effort to strike up conversations about Ruby and Down syndrome in general, but the amount of people who did just that blew me away. Even weeks after the walk, I still see her red shirt pop up on Facebook or at church. And I asked friends to post pictures of themselves wearing the shirts; everyday we got a few new photos from all over the United States! As of the week of the walk, 112 Ruby shirts are out there, spreading awareness....crazy!!
When the day of the walk finally came, we were pleasantly surprised (SHOCKED!) that all but two people who signed up were able to come to the walk, and several others showed up and registered on that day, bringing our total number of walkers to 96! Ruby grabbed a looong nap on the way to the walk (smart girl), so she was able to stay awake for the whole afternoon. We set up a small tent near the back of the park and greeted the many many Team Ruby members that came. Everyone had a blast eating and playing games, throwing the football and catching up... It was a perfect day. The walk itself started just before 4PM. We all lined up outside of the park and walked the perimeter.