The mother of a son with Down Syndrome and their love of baseball encourages others to join them on the baseball diamond this summer.
Manny Thompson and Jillian Witwicki have more than a few things in common. They share many of the same friends, they’re young, sociable, sunny, fun and they both love baseball. It makes little difference that Manny, of Hamilton, is nine and has Down Syndrome and Jillian is a freshman at Pingree School in Hamilton - they both love fielding balls, swinging at pitches and running the bases. “I live down the street from Tapley Park,” Witwicki said telling of how she came to know Thompson four years ago. “My brothers (and I) were always down there playing baseball.” As if referring to the usual pick-up game she added, “And one day I saw (Manny’s) group and I got involved.” The group, Massachusetts District 15 Challenger Baseball, is a division …
Barbara Vanderwilden will raise money for Down Syndrome with every stride she takes in her one and only Boston Marathon.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Scot Cooper
Monday, April 4, 2011
Hamilton’s Barbara Vanderwilden is listed as runner number 22,678 at this year’s Boston Marathon, and the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress will benefit from every step she takes towards the finish line. Vanderwilden, who has lived in Hamilton for 11 years after growing up in the North End of Boston, is running her one and only Boston Marathon on April 18 to raise money for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress. Vanderwilden’s biggest fans are her husband John, her nine-year old daughter Emily and seven-year old son Maximus, who was born with Down syndrome. “The message of MDSC is to promote awareness and help to promote inclusion of children born with Down syndrome into the mainstream,” Vanderwilden said. “Maximus and other children…