Over $14.9 million has been raised for charitable causes by runners through our RUN4HOPE program. Learn more and become a charity runner here.
DOWN SYNDROME RESEARCH FOUNDATION: RUN TO EMPOWER STUDENTS WITH DOWN SYNDROME
What do you see when you see a person with Down syndrome?
Do you see a person with a lot to contribute? A person with a full life that includes education, meaningful work and deep relationships? A person who, with the right support, can turn expectations on their head and achieve more than you can imagine? A person like Chris?
Like many children with Down syndrome, Chris’ life did not get off to the easiest start. “Chris’ childhood was difficult to begin with,” recalls his mom, Shawn, “because he had a major heart defect, and he had three major open heart surgeries. He was a sick little boy for a long time. But after the third surgery, life changed for him.”
As a young man, Chris began attending the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, where he worked on his math and the social skills that would be crucial as he transitioned to adulthood.
Chris speaks glowingly of his time as a DSRF student, saying, “The teachers are very nice; it’s like a home to me.” In fact, he liked it so much that when he graduated from DSRF’s adult education programs, he stayed on as a staff member.
“The whole family has noticed since Chris has been going to DSRF how independent and how confident he is,” says Shawn. “He has a lot of confidence in himself to do whatever he wants to do” – even getting himself to and from work on the bus and SkyTrain.
Looking ahead, the family’s dreams for Chris are simple. “My hopes for Chris’ future are that he’s able to do whatever he wants to do, and he can find a way to do it,” says Shawn. Given all that he’s accomplished already, there is little question that Chris will do exactly that.
As you achieve your goal of competing in the BMO Vancouver Marathon, you can make dreams come true for individuals with Down syndrome like Chris, by participating in the RUN4HOPE on behalf of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation.
As a DSRF Charity Runner, participants commit to raising a minimum of $100 dollars for the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. DSRF directly supports our runners to help make your fundraising a success. Specifically, DSRF will provide:
- a customized fundraising web page
- regular e-mails from DSRF with fundraising tips and encouragement
- a DSRF “hand in hand” pin
- the satisfaction of helping young people with Down syndrome reach their full potential, and the greatest cheering section you can imagine during the race
Please join us, and run hand in hand with Chris, and all those on the lifetime journey of Down syndrome.
About Down Syndrome Research Foundation
When Edison was born, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome: a genetic condition caused by an extra 21st chromosome, characterized by health problems, developmental delays and learning disabilities. At the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, Edison and his family have found the support they needed to unleash his full potential. Now 7-years-old, Edison talks like a chatterbox, plays piano and soccer, and reads at a Grade 1 level.
Every day, stories like Edison’s are written. DSRF’s educational programming maximizes the tremendous potential of individuals with Down syndrome, building core skills needed for independence: speech and language, reading and communication, and social and emotional development. As students grow in these areas, they thrive in life, work and relationships.
RUN4HOPE is the charity program for the BMO Vancouver Marathon, with goals to raise funds for social impact and community good, plus foster a spirit of community celebration. The program provides value to charities, and charitable options for participants, enabling runners to fundraise and/or donate to charities. Run and give! The event’s RUN4HOPE program has helped runners raise more than $14.9 million for charity and community good.