Meet Airen Jones
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
Every Thursday here on WXXV we’ll be sharing the story of children in our area with Down Syndrome. This week, you’ll meet Airen Jones.
Meet Airen Jones. “He’s your typical boy. He loves to play with cars and dig in the mud.”
Your average eight-year-old with his fair share of responsibilities, like being a big brother to his two little sisters and showing the world he’s no different than anyone else. Airen’s mom, Aleisha Jones, said, “All of my bloodwork came back normal during the pregnancy. So, we didn’t find out until he was born. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m not going to lie, because no parent should hear whether it is Down Syndrome or something wrong with your child. At the same time, it’s not something that’s wrong with him. He lives life just the same as we do. I thought about it and I came to realize God did this for a reason and that reason is to show the world that they are more alike than different.”
One way the Jones family promotes acceptance is by participating in their local Buddy Walk. “They get pumped up more than anybody regularly would because it is just that pure innocence. I guess they have a blast. It’s so much fun to have different experiences and things and make it about them when the world tells you differently.”
It’s an event Airen absolutely adores and they’ve done it every year since he was born. “You get to experience the pure joy from someone who doesn’t know any difference.”
This year, the local Buddy Walk will be a drive-thru at the Gulfport Sportsplex on October 16th starting at 1 p.m. “We had the drive thru again last year and he had a blast, but we just wanted to be safe and have the most participants.”
If you would like to participate in the Buddy Walk, the event is free and you can register online at GCDSS.org.