Amie is my older sister and she has Down syndrome. Growing up Amie did big sister things for me, riding me on the back of her big wheel, getting up in the middle of the night to turn on the light because I was afraid of the dark. But as we got older and I was able to do things that Amie would not be able to do i.e. drive, date, live alone. It became more evident to Amie that she was different and she would question my mom why I could do these things and she couldn’t. I’ll never forget the day Amie came home and said that one of her friends had told her she had Down syndrome. Not that this was ever a secret, she knew she was different I’m sure because people always treated her different. But that was almost like a shock to her and I remember feeling so angry and sad for her. I decided at that point to make a conscious effort to make sure to treat her just like anyone else, but that wasn’t the right answer either. Because pretending like Amie did have a disability was like ignoring what makes her so special. With the help of my amazing parents and through community events and job training with groups like Down Syndrome of Greater Richmond, she learned to really appreciate the fact that she had Down syndrome. Amie continues to teach me every day that not everyone is the same and to truly accept that person is to appreciate their differences, not pretend like you don’t see them. This walk is to help support The Down Syndrome Association of Richmond and all of the activities and support that provide to those in the community that are different. Please join us at the event to show the Down Syndrome community we love them just as they are!