Submitted by:  Cobie Weideman

At present, 1 in every 500 babies in South Africa is born with Down Syndrome according to statistics released by Down Syndrome International. While each child with Down Syndrome has their own strengths and face their own unique challenges, one thing most have in common is their unmatched eagerness to tackle every task, whether it is drawing a picture or participating in sport, head-on.  Cobie Weideman’s son is one of the many precious children who gives his absolute best in everything he does.

This is what Cobie wrote:

A while ago my son, Philip, who has Down Syndrome, decided on his own to run the 1200m race at the school athletics.  Although he is a good swimmer, he had not practiced running at all.  The Grade 7 girls spontaneously went and stood around the field encouraging him, while others jogged with him just outside the track.

As a man, the whole pavilion stood and cheered the two on.

In the meantime, an athlete, Xholisi Guma, had already finished the race in record time.  But when he looked around and saw Philip coming, he immediately turned in his lane and went to fetch Philip.  With renewed energy and enthusiasm, he encouraged Philip to finish with him. 

As a man, the whole pavilion stood and cheered the two on.  There were very few dry eyes.

I wish we could tell Xholisi again today what that meant to us and to Philip.  He is apparently playing for the Blue Bulls Under 21 team now.

Such caring people is one of the many reasons #ImStaying for sure!