Last week Kayla and I drove to Maryland for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation's Be Beautiful Be Yourself Gala and Fashion Show in Washington DC. Kayla was one of 25 models with Down syndrome who walked the runway with guest escorts.
Humor on our drive: As we were driving through VA we were stopped at a light when I noticed sign pointing out George Washington's birthplace to the right. I told Kayla, "Oh look! Remember learning about George Washington? The president? That sign says he was born here." Kayla looked at the corner on her right and said, "Here? At CVS?" Also: It's an 8 hr drive. She woke up from a 20-minute nap saying, "Whew! That's a long nap!"
We had such a fun time last week. Kayla tried on several dresses and she chose this one because of the way it twirls. She loves to twirl in a dress and this dress was a big hit to her.
She had her hair curled, a smidgen of blush and eye shadow applied, nails polished, and her pretty purple dress on ... she was ready to go!
Her escort was GDSF Spokesperson and Supermodel Beverly Johnson. (Here are a couple of pictures from the professional photographers of Kayla meeting Beverly Johnson and walking the runway.)
After the fashion show the crowd enjoyed listening to Sheryl Crow perform several songs. The models got back up on the stage and danced the night away. (Here is a picture of Kayla with Sheryl Crow.)
I was so proud of Kayla! She's never done anything like this before (the closest thing would be the one dance recital she was in last year). Yet she seemed so poised and confident walking that stage! Albeit a little faster than I think she was supposed to ... as you'll see in the video she lets go of Beverly's hand as if to say, "I got this! I can do this myself! I know what I'm doing!"
You can read more about the gala in the article Global Down Syndrome Gala a Huge Success and Supermodel Spotlights Down Syndrome.
There were several representatives from the NIH there who heard, more than once, how Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic conditions, yet the least funded. Hopefully funding for Down syndrome research will increase.
What a great night!