Porter Thompson, like most two-year-olds, takes swim lessons at the YMCA and loves to watch Elmo on Sesame Street.
What sets Porter apart though is that he has an extra 21st chromosome which means he has Down syndrome.
Porter was picked to be featured in the National Down Syndrome Society’s (NDSS) annual video presentation in New York City this year.
Porter’s picture is one of 200-some photographs that were hand selected by the Society out of over 2000 entries.
On Saturday, September 20 thousands of people will get to see what his mom Danielle describes as “a really big smile” displayed on a big billboard at Duffy’s Square right near the McDonalds.
Danielle, Porter and Porter’s grandmother will be traveling from their home in East Norriton to the big apple to see Porter make his video debut.
The video shows both children and adults who have Down syndrome and how they are living their lives with their friends and family by their side.
Porter is full of personality but isn’t walking yet. Danielle explained that weak ankle joints and low muscle tone is typical of those with Down syndrome.
To talk, Porter often uses sign language that his 4-year-old sister Penny helps him learn.
Porter is full of personality too. “He’s the kid you find sitting on top of the table,” Danielle said.
He also has some pretty mature taste buds for a toddler.
“He’s definitely our foodie.” Recently Porter had his tonsils and adenoids taken out and the day after surgery he was already asking for pizza.
Danielle also described her son as resilient and so these are some of the traits that the annual video presentation aims to capture.
Following the video Porter and his family will board a bus that will take them to Central Park where they will walk with thousands of others in the NDSS’s Buddy Walk that’s celebrating its 20th year.
It’s the first year the Thompson family will be participating in the NYC Buddy Walk but they have been involved in the local Buddy Walk since Danielle first found out she was pregnant with Porter.
“I’m a little Buddy Walk obsessed.”
On October 4th, Porter, Penny, Danielle and the rest of “Porter’s Peeps” will put their yellow marshmallow peep-colored shirts on for the CHOP Buddy Walk at Villanova University.
October marks National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
Last year “Porter’s Peeps” had the largest team of walkers with them. Danielle recalled though what she felt as a mother the first year they participated in the walk.
The family was greeted by Radnor High School’s football players and cheerleaders and they were all cheering “Porter.”
“I felt their support then and I lost it.”
That kind of support continues to pour in for Porter. “Porter’s Peeps” is one of the top fundraisers with close to $6,000 worth of donations.
Besides the 2 mile walk around the track, there is also moon bounces, face painting and other family-fun activities.
In the meantime fun planned for Porter on Saturday following the Central Park Walk includes a trip to the toy store and hopefully a picture with Elmo.