Team Lizzie Dale


A year in my shoes…

I'm Lizzie Dale, 21-months old, and I have an exciting year to share with you.

I became a big sister.

I had surgery to correct crossed eyes, and now I see more clearly.

I passed my hearing exam for the first time.

I learned to say mama, dada, up, milk, doll...

I learned to sign milk, more, all done, eat, ball… Well, let’s just say I can tell mom, dad and anyone else pretty much anything.

I know what to do when mom says “Put your hands on your head!” Usually she tells me that when I’m tackling my little brother Charlie. It’s her way of saying, “hands off.”

I can point to my nose, my ears and my mouth.

I sip milk through a straw, strengthening muscles that will help me speak better.

I rock my baby dolls to sleep, after feeding them and changing their diapers.

I am a globe-trotter – traveling to Hawaii, California and Colorado for the first time.

The other day, I climbed up the stairs so fast to chase after mom that my big sister, Maddi, said:

“Down syndrome doesn’t stop Lizzie from anything.” And she’s right.

By the time Buddy Walk comes around, I’ll be 8 weeks shy of my second birthday. Mom hopes I can show off some walking skills with my new orthotics.

Sure, I’m a fast-learner and cruiser, but I am also teaching my parents and family about patience and kindness.

When Maddi or Charlie get hurt, I scoot over to them with my arms wide open, then wrap them in a bear hug. I pat their backs, like mommy does, to soothe them.

This is where I need your help. My mom is determined to not only help me, but others with special needs. The Buddy Walk is our way to raise funds and awareness so that other families are supported with love and information.

What is Buddy Walk?

The Buddy Walk was first launched in 1995 on the East Coast by the National Down Syndrome Society to promote awareness and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome. Since then it has grown, from just 17 Buddy Walks nationwide to more than 250 events each year. The Down Syndrome Network Oregon hosted its first local Buddy Walk in 2002, and last year celebrated its 10-year anniversary with 1,500 walkers at Millenium Plaza in Lake Oswego.

That was our family’s first Buddy Walk.

I was amazed.

I had no idea how many people walked by our side and contributed money to Team Lizzie Dale. Those dollars went directly into programming and education done by Down Syndrome Network-Oregon. At DSNO, we provide new and expectant parents with the Basket of Hope, Moms’ Coffees and Dad’s Night Out. We give members scholarships to attend the national Down syndrome conference and camps all around Oregon.

Last year, you helped me raise more than $7,000! More than 50 of you walked with me. Your support was so incredible that my mom ran out of Buddy Walk pins for our team. Let's do it again! I hope you can support me this year… Mom promises to order enough Buddy Badges!

The 2013 Buddy Walk for DSNO starts at 10:30am on September 29th at Millenium Park Plaza in Lake Oswego.


Contributors to this Buddy Team