“Don’t limit a child that has Down syndrome. They can learn just as well as a normal child can.” That's the message that Brandy Pipes would like for other people to understand. She and Brandon Alvis are the parents of Jase Alvis, 4, the youngest of Pipes’ four boys.
“He’s a loving child,” she says. “He loves people. He’s a happy child.”
Jase, who is enrolled at First Baptist Church Mother’s Day Out in Alexandria, was the face of the race at the 3.21 Run for Down Syndrome 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run that was held Saturday, Oct. 1 at DeKalb West School in Liberty.
“It means a lot to know that everybody is supporting your son that has something a little extra special about him,” Pipes says.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, one in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. Pipes say she didn’t know that Jase had D.S. until after he was born.
At first I was upset,” she admits. “I thought he wouldn’t be able to have a normal life. But he’s taught me that I’m not going to put a limit on him.”
The genetic disorder occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21, which alters the course of development.
“With my other children, they could walk at a year old,” Pipes said. “It took him until he was 2 ½. It’s just a waiting period, but it’s worth it.”
Jase likes to play ball, dance, and listen to music. He also enjoys practicing sports with his older brothers and cheers them on from the sidelines during the games.
“They (Jase’s brothers) don’t treat him any different. They get out there, and they play with him. They already said if somebody makes fun of him, they’ll take care of it,” she adds with a laugh.
Proceeds from Saturday’s race will go to benefit special needs children in DeKalb and Smith Counties. More than 135 racers participated in the event including Team Beckett, a group of race supporters who ran for 2-year-old Beckett, who has Down syndrome.
“They’re the most precious children you can ever imagine to be around, and I wouldn’t change them for the world, say Courtney West, Beckett’s mom.
The overall female winner of the race was Diana Moon with a time of 22:44. Matthew Sinclair, 11, was the overall male winner with a time of 20:18.
The following are the race results by age category:
9 & Under 10-15
1st Thomas Damron 1st Cody Antoniak
2nd Caroline Crook 2nd Cole Miller
3rd Emily Young 3rd Brayden Antoniak
1st Austin Brown 1st Cody Webb
2nd Devon O’Brien 2nd Kalah Donnell
3rd Landon Woodcock 3rd Michelle Lorio
1st Josh Miller 1st Bonnie Grandstaff
2nd Cedron Moon 2nd Karen Hatchett
3rd John Barlog 3rd Jarrett Pistole
1st Kim Foutch 1st Mary Ray
2nd Randy Queen 2nd Lene’ McKinney
3rd Deborah Bane 3rd Galen Fish
71+ 1 Mile Fun Run Results
1st Mary Jane Brown Carson Davis
2nd Carolyn Poteete Mia Foutch
3rd Ron Poteete Addison Miller