Reporting Rob Johnson
(CBS) – The Rock and Roll Half Marathon this Sunday will feature thousands of runners — some world class, some casual participants.
Among them will be a group of young adults with Down Syndrome, their friends and families. Some will run, some will walk, but all are determined to show their ability — not a disability.
CBS 2’s Rob Johnson reports.
One a recent Tuesday night in Schaumburg, they showed up in their yellow shirts ready to run, walk and raise awareness.
The group is called United Parent Support for Down Syndrome, or UPS for DownS.
“The philosophy of UPS for DownS is to do things in the community. And this run was just tailor-made for us because these kids get to walk, run, a three mile run alongside world-class athletes,” Mike Reininger says.
That run is the Rock and Roll Half Marathon and three-mile mini-marathon this weekend in Chicago. Twenty Down Syndrome athletes will be running and walking the mini-marathon, including Mike’s 19-year-old daughter Allie.
“I think it is actually really amazing that I’m doing this walk because I could not walk until I was like 5, and it’s been a wonderful experience so far,” Allie says.
She’ll be joined by her longtime friend and neighbor Aubrey Lopshire.
“She’s taught me that when people have challenges use them as inspiration,” Lopshire says. “Allie never gives up, she’s taught me to do that as well.”
Meantime, for the Grunewalds, this is truly a family affair. Twenty-year-old Katelynn Grunewald will be joined by her mom Peggy, dad Mike, brother Phillip and sister Laura.
“She’s been out training and she has just blown us all away. She’s very much an inspiration to us,” Peggy Grunewald says.
“They are my family and they have my back,” Katelynn says.
For more information on UPS for DownS, click here.