Buddy Walk Logo

Get ready for the BUDDY WALK!

The Buddy Walk is an event held every October to promote awareness and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome.

Welcome to ETDSG

The East Texas Down Syndrome Group brings together people with Down syndrome and people who love them. Our purpose is to:

  • Provide support to people with Down syndrome and their families;
  • Educate and inform our community about people with Down syndrome and the gifts and blessings they bring;
  • Promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome in all aspects of society.

To accomplish this mission we provide information, education, and support to self-advocates and families in East Texas. We believe that as parents, we are the primary advocates for our children and in so doing we can educate our families, friends, schools, and community at large of the inherent qualities and contributions that individuals with Down syndrome possess.

By offering families in East Texas the opportunity to network, share experiences, and share struggles, we strengthen ourselves, and the bond that holds us together. Our members stay connected with a bi-monthly newsletter, bi-monthly meetings, various social functions, and through our annual Buddy Walk fundraiser held each October. The money raised at our Buddy Walk funds our programs and services throughout the year.

We are committed to having no membership fee for the group. This has been made possible by the broad community support we receive primarily through our Buddy Walk.

ETDSG is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 serving the East Texas area. We are affiliated with the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress. Both of these national organizations are an excellent source of information regarding Down syndrome for new and expectant parents.

That Extra Chromosome…

Down syndrome is a chromosomal anomaly that occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. The occurrence of Down syndrome is one in every 691 live births and is one of the most common causes of intellectual disability. It occurs in all races, ethnic groups, socio-economic classes, and nationalities. Over 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and each are unique individuals with a wide variety of gifts, talents, and abilities. They make valuable contributions to their families and communities. Many adults with Down syndrome have productive jobs and live independently.

New Parent Support

We love welcoming new parents to our group. We provide “New Parent Packages” filled with great information about our group and Down syndrome in general. New parents are encouraged to get involved, get informed, and get on to enjoying life with their new baby!

On behalf of the East Texas Down Syndrome Group, congratulations on either the birth or impending birth of your child. It is common to be scared because of the unknown of what the future may hold but isn’t this true for all newborns? It is also common to go through a grieving period where you mourn the loss of the child you thought you were going to have. However, there comes a point when you realize that this is not a Down syndrome baby you’ve just brought or will bring into the world, but a baby first and foremost whom happens to have Down syndrome. We do not promise you a road ahead without difficulties or challenges, but we can promise you a road ahead full of joy, hope, and love. Your life will never again be the same; instead, it will be better! We cannot begin to describe the blessings that you will encounter by being the parent of a child with special needs but the blessings will be in abundance and the journey will be life changing. So, parents, love your child as you would any other and raise him or her without setting limitations. By doing so, your child will surprise you and the world by how far he or she can go.

To request a new parent package, please contact Kelly Bunger at 903-944-9062.