Saturday, October 19, 2013

Olympic runner’s world record attempt to benefit Nat’l Down Syndrome Soc.

By Catherine Holland from AZ

PHOENIX – When professional runner Andrew Lemoncello and his wife, Julie, welcomed their first child, Isla, in June, they were stunned to learn that she has Down Syndrome.
“It kind of took us by shock,” Lemoncello, who lives in Flagstaff, told 3TV’s Kaley O’Kelley.

They immediately turned to learning everything they could about Down Syndrome, and the more information they got, they more comfortable they became with what the future holds for their baby girl.
“The more learned about it, we realized this doesn’t have to be any kind of disability for her,” Lemoncello said. “She can do everything that anyone else does. The more information we got from the charities and the doctors, the better it made us feel.”
"We're having such a wonderful time raising her and helping her work on her strength and coordination everyday [sic]," he wrote on "She's a very happy baby and I wish she knew how much she inspires us."
The Lemoncellos also learned that there is all kinds of support available for families who have children with Down Syndrome.
“We realized there’s a whole community out there that we’re now a part of,” he continued.
And it’s for that community that Lemoncello is trying to set a world record.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, Lemoncello with be at Chandler Fashion Centerwith two goals in mind.
     1. Smash the treadmill half-marathon world record
     2. Raise money for the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
Not necessarily in that order.
The current treadmill half-marathon world record is 70 minutes. Lemoncello has done it in 63 minutes, so setting a new record should be relatively easy for the Olympic runner, especially with a crowd there to cheer him on.
“The bigger the crowd, the bigger the cheering, the faster he’s gonna go,” Julie said with a smile, little Isla, now 4 months old, happy in her arms. “It’s gonna be great.”
Cheering is fabulous, but it’s the fundraising part proud daddy Lemoncello really needs help with. His goal is $25,000, and he's almost there.

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