WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and for the ninth year, the "Buddy Walk" was held at Stanley Park in Westfield Saturday morning.
The all volunteer-based Down Syndrome Resource Group of Western Mass . put on the event.
Over 1500 people from the community came out to celebrate the talents and gifts of those children and adults touched by Down syndrome.
And the main goal of this walk is to promote a sense of understanding and acceptance of those who have Down syndrome.
"I want them to see what our kids can do and they're just awesome kids and the negative stuff that goes on-we're trying to squash that," Joanne Charland, Vice President of WMass Down Syndrome Resource Group.
This is the second year the Sciebelli family has taken part. Danielle and Jordan are the proud parents of 2-year-old Noah.
Their son was diagnosed with heart problems and Down syndrome while he was still in the womb.
"It was heartbreaking, I mean just to have that be said to you about a child that's yours and you've heard and seen on ultrasounds," said Danielle Scibelli of South Hadley.
Doctors suggested abortion several times but for the Scibellis that was not an option. Noah underwent open heart surgery and has brought nothing but joy and hope into his parents' lives.
"I hope just to spread awareness about how typical and awesome and fun and amazing he is, and it's just been a blessing every day," said Jordan Scibelli.
Links to more information on the "Buddy Walk" and the Down Syndrome Resource Group.