Hundreds expected at 15th Annual Columbia Buddy Walk

Hundreds expected at 15th Annual Columbia Buddy Walk

Columbia, SC (WIS) - Hundreds of people are expected to gather at Sesquicentennial State Park this Sunday for the 2014 Columbia Buddy Walk.

This is the 15th year Family Connection will host the walk which celebrates the Down Syndrome Community and promotes acceptance and inclusion.

Among those walking are Padgett Mozingo and her three year-old daughter Lila. WIS met the Mozingo family at the Buddy Walk three years ago when Lila was just 6 months-old.

The Mozingos say their involvement in the Family Connection community has provided immeasurable support in their lives since Lila's very first Buddy Walk.

"From the very beginning when we were given the word that Lila would have Down Syndrome, there were people in our community and particularly Family Connection who were accessible,” said Lila's mom Padgett. “That was so vital in making sure you're not alone, and you are connected and you know that there are people out there to help you get through the journey you're going to walk."

Padgett says she's expecting 40 to 50 people to walk with “Team Lila” on Sunday. This will be the fourth Buddy walk for the Mozingos, and Padgett says their first year at Buddy Walk came just at the right time.    

“It was so helpful to see other children who had the same diagnosis who were thriving,” said Padgett. “What we've done since then, we've met other children and allowed other parents who were having a similar diagnosis and faced heart surgery to actually see Lila and see her thriving. That's why we're so passionate about putting her out there.”

The walk will start at 1pm at Sesquicentennial State Park and last until 5pm.

If you would like to participate or want more information on Family Connection click here.