Fun walk and celebration

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Family fun walk and celebration supports Nothing Down

Claire Lowe  June 24, 2017

celebration

Michael Chanese, 34, of Galloway Township, gives a thumbs up as the Nothing Down walk begins. Claire Lowe

ABSECON — Julie Willson and Shannon Daughtry were blown away by the turnout Saturday at the first Nothing Down fundraiser.

Borne out of a photo shoot a year and a half ago in memory of Willson’s sister, Nothing Down has grown into a support organization for families, especially new and expecting parents, of children with Down syndrome.

“We do have families that are part of our organization that were in a dark spot when they had their child with Down syndrome. And just by networking with us and getting to know the program and meeting friends and families of other individuals, it has really given them a lot of hope,” said Willson, of Linwood.

About one in 700 babies is born in the U.S. with Down syndrome, according to the National Down Syndrome Society.

Daughtry, of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, said she was offered an abortion when her daughter, now 2, was diagnosed with Down syndrome. She hopes the organization will help people view the chromosomal condition in a positive light.

Stephanie and Mike Sweeney’s son, Aiden, 3, was in that original photo shoot. For them, that first meeting was a life-changer.

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