The University of Alabama at Birmingham Respiratory Therapy Class of 2015 participated in the Alabama Buddy Walk for Down syndrome on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. The students, along with family and friends, walked in honor of Cornelius “Neal” Spencer, the cousin of Class of 2015 student Ashley Johnson. Down Syndrome Alabama’s mission is to promote awareness, acceptance and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome of all ages.
Pictured in the group shot to the right L/R: Katie Floyd, UAB; Amy Atkinson, UAB; Kristin Woodard, UAB; Ashley Johnson, UAB; Toni Spencer, Neal’s mom; Neal Spencer, walk honoree; Nyralon Johnson, UAB; Rhiannon Carroll, UAB; Marissa Wicker, UAB; and Emily Cherry, UAB. Walkers not pictured in the group shot from UAB are Casey Skorowski and Kelly Parker.
The event, established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society, is held every year to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The walk was held at the Hoover Met and included a Line Dance Party with up and coming country singer Dylan Scott and his band. The money raised at the walk goes to the Down Syndrome Alabama supported programs including the UAB Adult Down Syndrome Clinic. The top group in the local walk raised $18,000. Nationally, the Buddy Walk has raised more than $11 million since its inception.