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News Release

Ontario snow storm can't hold back Kingston man raising awareness for Down syndrome

October 16, 2006

CALGARY (Oct. 16, 2006) - Kingston resident Kyle Ballantyne has wrapped up his 24-day journey from Kingston to Niagara Falls, as part of his "Hike to Help."

Kyle was hiking in support of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society and his brother, Jacob, who has Down syndrome. The first Hike to Help in 2004 saw Kyle hiking from Kingston to Ottawa along the Rideau Trail. Kyle began the Hike to Help to raise awareness about Down syndrome and the abilities and contributions of people like his brother.

Kyle began the second Hike to Help on Sept. 18 in Kingston, finishing on October 12 in Niagara Falls, despite a winter storm that brought heavy rain, snow and sleet to the area. The hike has raised $2,200 for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society thus far. Krista J. Flint, Executive Director, says Kyle's support will allow the CDSS to continue their efforts in ensuring equitable opportunities for Canadians with Down syndrome.

"Kyle's support will allow us to share information with Canadians with Down syndrome across Canada," says Flint. "Information about health care, education, prenatal testing and employment - providing resources to those who need it most."

Some of the walk highlights include:

* An invite to the Applefest celebrations September 23 and 24 in Brighton, where Kyle and Jacob had the opportunity to say a few words about the hike.

* Kyle participated in the Second-Annual Durham Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk on Sunday, October 1 in Whitby, Ontario.

* Kyle met many wonderful people along the way: People welcoming him with open arms; folks offering a backyard where he could pitch his tent; dinners given by different restaurants for free or by trading a piece of his own hand-made jewellery. He slept behind Chip trucks, gas stations, on front lawns and under pavilions.

* The Niagara Falls Down Syndrome Association welcomed the Ballantyne family on October 13, where a celebration dinner was held with several group members and their children.

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is a vital resource linking individuals, parents and professionals through advocacy, education and providing information. The mission of the CDSS is to ensure equitable opportunities for all Canadians with Down syndrome. This means, to make sure all Canadians with Down syndrome have the right supports to give them the same opportunities that everyone else has. Our vision is a proud Canada where ALL are welcome, we embrace diversity and we value everyone's genes equally.


*** Interviews are available with the Ballantyne family and CDSS Executive Director - see below contact information for details.

For more information:

Lindsay Heintz
Marketing and Communications Manager
Canadian Down Syndrome Society
(403) 669-2832

Toronto, Ontario, , Canada         Tel:
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