TWENTYONE Blog

Press Release: North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance Announced at Triangle Buddy Walk

Media Contact:
Christina P. Reaves, Executive Director
Triangle Down syndrome Network
(984) 200-1193
7951 Monument Ln, Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27615
Christina@tdsn.org
www.ncdsalliance.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance Announced at Triangle Buddy Walk
Services for individuals with Down Syndrome expanded throughout North Carolina.

RALEIGH, NC (October 8, 2019): Christina Reaves, Executive Director of the Triangle Down Syndrome Network (TDSN) has announced that the North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance (NCDSA) has been formed to reflect the expansion of services for individuals with Down syndrome throughout the state of North Carolina.

“Our vision is to expand our NC Parents First Call Program, educational, and support programs across North Carolina by serving all of North Carolina’s 100 counties,” said Reaves. “We are committed to establishing local community groups in under-served areas and partnering with local non-profits, ensuring every baby born in North Carolina with Down syndrome receives a joyous welcome and parents receive vital support and resources.”

As of January 1, 2020, the transition to the North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance will be complete. The expansion will continue in early 2020 and include a three-phase roll out. The three phases will consist of medical outreach, identifying families of individuals with Down syndrome, and implementing the NC Parents First Call program in counties not currently served by local Down syndrome support agencies. Newly formed local community groups will begin to serve families in other geographical areas. Families currently served by the TDSN will belong to the Triangle Community Group. The Eastern NC Family Group will continue to serve families in Beaufort, Pitt, Lenoir and Craven Counties. The NCDSA will open a satellite office in Eastern NC to serve that region of the state not already served by our partners. As part of the expansion the NCDSA will create the Southeastern Community Group and the Sandhills Community Group. Each community group will have trained new parent mentors, volunteers, advocacy, programming, and social events consistent with the needs of the area it serves.

It is an exciting step for the newly formed North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance. It is our goal and vision to empower, connect, and support individuals with Down syndrome and expand our partnerships with the medical community and other community organizations. It is a critical step to serve families in under-served areas. We must empower and equip individuals with Down syndrome to reach their unlimited potential. People with Down syndrome can be, and are, productive members of society and should not be defined by the fact that they have Down syndrome. It is our goal that others see beyond the characteristics of Down syndrome and see each person for who they are.

About North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance
The North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance is an effective, compassionate, and comprehensive resource on Down syndrome throughout North Carolina. Its mission is to empower, connect, and support the lifespan of individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community through outreach, advocacy, and education in North Carolina.
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Volunteer Spotlight

Triangle Down Syndrome Network is excited to acknowledge Javier Toro for his awesome work in the Down syndrome community, including his volunteer work with our organization! At 14 years old, Javier is the middle child of three who just began 9th grade at Cary High school. He is sandwiched between his older brother, Pepito, and younger sister Mia, who has Down syndrome. In his free time, he plays baseball for the town of Cary and also volunteers in the Pals Program at Gigi’s playhouse. At Reedy Creek Middle School he was a Peer helper in the Special Education Classroom.

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ED Reflects on Goals for TDSN

Executive Director Reflects on Goals for Triangle Down syndrome Network
Christina Reaves says much has been done but there is much more to do.

Fear…Denial…Confusion…These were the emotions, among others, that Christina Reaves felt when her newborn baby, Emmaleigh, was diagnosed with Down syndrome. She had so many questions but didn’t know where to go for answers. Some resource information was given to her but not nearly enough to help her navigate or prepare for the challenges her daughter would face. She felt very alone.

By the time Emmaleigh was four years old, the gap began to widen. She was advancing slower than her typically developing peers. That summer was particularly difficult for Christina until one day, completely by chance, she met four other mothers of children with Down syndrome, by the pool, of all places.

Christina spent time talking with these moms, knowing they were not judging her, that they completely understood what she was going through. She left the pool that day in tears, comforted by their support and not feeling so alone. She registered for her first Buddy Walk and applied for a job at the Triangle Down syndrome Network (TDSN) that day.

Continue reading “ED Reflects on Goals for TDSN”