LITTLE Caitlin Partl’s mum is a big believer in accepting people for who they are.
And that led her to organise a Step Up for Down Syndrome walk yesterday at Wodonga’s Belvoir Park.
“I thought it was good just to get out there in Wodonga and let people know there are different people from different walks of life,” she said.
For Caitlin, 5, the event was more about having fun.
“She had a ball but she’s pretty tired now,” Mrs Partl said.
The walk is held annually in Melbourne and, since 2009, has raised $120,000 for education and support programs.
Mrs Partl said she had felt the Melbourne march was too far to travel for Border supporters so she had consulted Down Syndrome Victoria about running a similar walk in Wodonga.
About 40 people took part yesterday and their enthusiasm has fired Mrs Partl’s enthusiasm for running another walk next year.
She is yet to tally how much yesterday’s walk raised.
“The walk raises money to provide encouragement and resources for those told pre-natal they have a pretty high chance of having a child with Down syndrome,” she said.”
Educating people about acceptance was key to her involvement.
“Some children and even adults mock people who are different to themselves,” she said.
“And those affected don’t understand why they’re different.
“They might not talk properly or walk differently, so I thought it would be good to let them know why it is.
“They’re still people at the end of the day.”