October 17, 2017
School & Youth
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  • A photo of 10-year-old Kayden Stowell appeared in the National Down Syndrome Society’s annual video presentation in New York City’s Times Square on September 16.
    A photo of 10-year-old Kayden Stowell appeared in the National Down Syndrome Society’s annual video presentation in New York City’s Times Square on September 16.

Kayden Stowell Featured In Down Syndrome Society’s Times Square Video

Jane Seiss
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September 20, 2017

Kayden Stowell is adventurous and considers himself a rockstar, so his parents thought it natural that he would enjoy participating in the National Down Syndrome Society’s (NDSS) annual video presentation contest. This spring, the Stowells submitted a photo of their 10-year-old son for consideration. It was one of more than 2,000 entries to the competition and one of only a few hundred chosen for inclusion in a photo collage that was displayed on a jumbo video screen in Times Square on September 16. The presentation shut down Times Square and preceded New York City’s annual Buddy Walk — a kickoff event for Down Syndrome Awareness Month, held in October.

The video presentation featured photos of children and adults nationwide with Down syndrome. “It’s important for people to see kids and adults with Down syndrome so they can see how awesome they are,” Kayden’s mom, Amanda, said of the photo collage. NDSS promotes the video as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of people with Down syndrome to our communities and lives.

In his winning photo, taken last March, Kayden was smiling in the back seat of the family car. He was wearing his ice hockey jacket and heading off on a journey to Canada, where he participated in a hockey tournament with his team, the Baltimore Saints. “When I look at that picture, it brings a smile to my face,” Amanda explained of her choice for the video contest. Kayden loves ice hockey, and he plays on a special-needs team that meets for six months of the year in Reisterstown, located in Baltimore County. This is his fifth year on the Baltimore Saints.

The family found out by email in August that Kayden’s photo had been chosen for inclusion in the NDSS video. “I think it’s really cool,” said Kayden’s dad, Doug. “I like that it’s on a national stage. It’s a dream to see your child on the big screen. It’s a pretty cool thing.”

Several years ago, the Stowell family moved to Maryland from Pennsylvania. Here, they feel supported in their efforts to raise a family and a child with special needs. The family participates in local groups like Down Syndrome Connection and fundraisers such as the Buddy Walk in Baltimore.

Kayden also feels comfortable at Marley Glen School in Glen Burnie, where he engages in educational and community activities. With a group of students, he learns from various excursions: visits to the grocery store, cooking lessons and lunch at restaurants.

Also fascinating to Kayden are his younger brother, Joshua; trains; cars; swimming; and the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as, sometimes, the Capitals — the professional Washington D.C. team has participated in activities with Kayden’s hockey team.

And although he is looking forward to the school year, Kayden did not have a boring summer. He and his family spent time in Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland over the last few months. They went to Universal Studios and Sea World, and Kayden did lots of swimming. He especially enjoyed go-karting with his dad. His New York City appearance will be another activity in a busy and fulfilling year.

For more information about the National Down Syndrome Society, visit www.ndss.org. To view NDSS Times Square videos, search the organization on YouTube.

 


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