This special interest story features my niece Ashley Hite who has "Down Syndrome".
Ashley's face is to be featured on New York Times Square Video, September 28, 2008.
An 11 year old girl named Ashley entered the Special Olympics in April 2008 held at Iowa Western Community College. Before the race, she was promised Taco Bell by her father Roger Hite and uncle Roy Phillips. As she ran along the track destined for a first-place finish, she noticed her uncle who snapped a photograph, and turned towards him and giggled. It was this photograph that propelled Ashley into the big time.
The photograph was one of 200 selected out of 2500 to be displayed in Times Square during New York's Buddy Walk, a fundraiser for the National Down’s Syndrome Society.
Ashley shares her excitement with such big smiles. The family hopes to be there on Ashley's big day, but they can't afford the trip and are trying to raise money for expenses. Like all dads, Roger wants to give his daughter everything. "I want her to have a good, normal life. She will. She'll learn and adapt and everything. She'll be alright."
Heidi Hite is one mom who's always 100 percent behind her daughter. "Ashley also looks at life from a different perspective than say we do. She doesn't take anything for granted."While no parent can forget their child's birth, for Ashley's parents, that day was especially challenging. “It was an eye-opener,” says father Roger Hite. “It was difficult being that young and finding out your daughter had Down’s syndrome."
The Hite family is trying to raise enough for the trip. If you're interested in helping, they've set up a fund in Ashley Hite's name at People's Bank in Council Bluffs, IA. Any extra money raised will be used for our local Buddy Walk in October.
You're welcome to read more about the story at WOWT Channel 6 News. http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/27338809.html