Clawson resident Kimberley Reynolds is determined to raise awareness about Down syndrome.
Reynolds' 8-year-old daughter, Amber, was born with the condition and she wants the public to understand that people with Down syndrome still can live normal lives.
"Amber is in a typical classroom at (Elementary)," Reynolds said. "She can do everything that other kids can do."
Down syndrome is a genetic condition where a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. Symptoms include delayed cognitive ability and common physical signs such as a flattened nose, excessive skin in the neck area and separated joints between the bones of the skull.
Reynolds aims to raise $5,000 for Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan, an organization that provides support for individuals who have the condition and their families. The group is hosting "Step UP for Down Syndrome Walk" – its biggest annual fundraiser – on Sept. 29 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The nonprofit organization offers scholarships, yoga classes and dances, as well as doctor recommendations for people with Down syndrome. The Reynolds family got involved with the Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan when Amber was four weeks old.
"They have been such huge support for us," Reynolds said. "I don’t know what I would do without them."
Reynold has formed a team of family and friends for the walk, with the name "Amber's Angels." So far, the team has collected $1,060 in online donations.
More than one-thousand people show up each year to support the "Step UP for Down Syndrome Walk." The event raised $100,000 for the Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan last year.
Teams will have a chance to walk around the outside of the Palace and there will be youth presentations, face painting, a moonwalk, clowns, karaoke and more. The event is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you would like to donate to Amber's Angels, visit the website and click 'Donate.' If you want to participate, you can register to walk or join a team. For more information visit the Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan website.