Dear Friends and Friends-To-Be,
I would like to thank all of you who are supporting us in our cause to help young people with Down syndrome.
It is often said that one person can change the world. I have personally seen the difference that one person who has Down syndrome is making. She is my daughter, Emily Ehlen, a 17-year-old who opens hearts, increases faith, teaches the art of happiness, and exemplifies working hard to achieve a goal—her dream to be a dental assistant. As any parent, I could tell you stories about Emily that would warm your heart, stories that would inspire you to try harder yourself, and stories that would make you want to punch several people. Because I have been blessed to be Emily’s father and see her potential and capabilities, I am serving as the president of the Wonderwood Foundation, whose mission is to help individuals with Down syndrome realize their dreams.
This last Thursday I stood on top of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states, with three of my sons and a great-hearted scout troop. During our hike we wore bright pumpkin color t-shirts that said, “Mount Whitney 2014– Hike for Down Syndrome” on the front, and on the back “Helping people with Down syndrome reach new heights.” While on the peak at 14,500 feet, I asked a lady to take a picture of us in our t-shirts, which she did. A man sitting next to her, whom I had never met, read our shirts, asked if we could take donations, and then handed me a $20 dollar bill. Sometimes we look around and see all the bad and wrong which […]