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Hundreds walk to raise awareness for Down Syndrome - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Hundreds walk to raise awareness for Down Syndrome

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's a walk in support of families dealing with Down Syndrome.  Harrison and his mom haven't missed a year. "I like to walk and I like to talk with my friends," he said.

The 19-year-old is just beginning his first year at the Community College of Vermont -- and has more than enough personality to go around.

"He is very outgoing. He's super confident. He thinks he's a pretty cool guy. We all think he's a pretty cool guy," said Lisa DeNatale, co-founder of The Champlain Valley Down Syndrome Group.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of a third chromosome and is the most common birth defect. The 4th Annual Buddy Walk is organized by DeNatale's group every year and shows support for families like Harrison's and other kids with Down Syndrome -- like 21-year-old Patrick Lynch. "He's really in your face sometimes but he's really funny. He's really loving," said Will Lynch, Patrick's brother.

Patrick is finishing up his last year at Burlington High School. His family believes it takes a village to make the dreams of their son -- and any child -- come true.  "We really rely on each other for support and resource and come to appreciate each of the talents and gifts that each of the children have. Today's just one of those days where it's all about them," said Kathleen Lynch, Patrick's mother.

The one mile walk Sunday began on Battery Street and circled downtown -- sharing the importance of showing support for kids like Harrison and Patrick -- along the way.
 
"They have the same wishes, they have the same dreams, they have the same challenges. We want people to see them as just another part of our community,"  DeNatale said.

But if it was up to Harrison, that support wouldn't stop there. "Please like me on Facebook," he said.

Whether it's on Facebook, or at the 4th Annual Buddy Walk, supporting a cause you believe in is always a great way to help out.

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