Making history, 48 year old Jimmy Jenson of Los Angeles completed the recent New York City Marathon, the first individual with Down Syndrome to do so.
Jimmy began running 12 years ago, encouraged by his friend Jennifer Davis whom he met through the excellent program Best Buddies, “an international group that aims to connect people who have intellectual disabilities with people who do not” (started by Anthony Shriver, son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver who created the Special Olympics Program).
In addition to losing 69 pounds in the process, Jimmy went from social isolation to the outgoing person he is today, encouraging other runners who were struggling (in the 8th hour) to get to the finish line, telling them . . . “if he could keep going, then so could they.”
And what did Jimmy’s “Buddy” Jennifer have to say about what their relationship has done for her?
“I was able to help Jimmy become more active, get in the community, lose weight, and tie his shoes, but he taught me about enjoying life, dancing and singing like no one is watching, and that a hug and a hot cocoa can solve almost anything.”
And by all means, do explore the Best Buddies site to see how this amazing organization might benefit your own son or daughter.