Thursday, March 15, 2012

Two friends with Down syndrome competing in the LA Marathon

from the Examiner by Lindsey Rowe:
Angela Armenta & Antoinette Mendoza are two friends who have Down Syndrome, but they are not letting that stop them from completing the LA Marathon March 18th!

These two determined ladies are part of Team ARC, an organization that helps individuals with developmental disabilities and an official charity of the LA Marathon. According to ARC, Angela & Antoinette will be the first women with Down Syndrome to complete the LA Marathon, and they are beyond excited to hold that title! Their inspiration came about when they saw their friends Rafael & Tim, two men with special needs, complete five marathons over the last few years.

Angela will embark on this journey with her friends by her side, along with her brother Joe and sister Rebecca, encouraging her to complete the 26.2 mile journey. Since the beginning of her training, her family says that Angela’s heath has improved and that through this rigorous process, her personality has come alive, her speech has improved and she is actively using new vocabulary words she has learned while training. Despite being diagnosed with a hole in her heart at age 5, with medical clearance from her doctor, Angela is determined to succeed and ready for this challenge!

Antoinette’s dream is to finish the marathon alongside her two friends, Rafael & Tim. Already an avid 5k participant, she is very proud of the medals she currently has and cannot wait to add the LA Marathon medal to the collection. Antoinette beams when she tells people about the race “I can do it, run all the way from Dodger stadium to the ocean, I try my best, 26.2 miles, I love it!” Antoinette will be running with Rafael, Tim, an ARC staff member who has volunteered to assist them and a Physical Therapy student from USC.

As these two inspirational ladies make history, Team ARC hopes to bring awareness to the developmentally disabled community and the importance of health & friendships, while giving hope to parents of children with special needs.

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