Young girl with Down syndrome strives to compete in Special Olympics

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ORLANDO, Fla. - An young girl with Down syndrome and juvenile arthritis will be part of the Special Olympics Young Athletes program in hopes to one day compete in the Special Olympics.

Kiki Price, 5, was barely able to walk a year ago before receiving treatment at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

Price was born with Down syndrome and diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

“She had painful joints, painful swollen joints, so she couldn't walk,” nurse Jessica Calderon said.

After receiving treatment over the past year, Price is now taking part in Nemours’ new partnership with the Special Olympics.

Coaches will lead activities for kids between 2 and 7 years old, who are not old enough for the Special Olympics yet.

Each program includes 24 sessions that last about a half-hour each and every activity is designed to help the child develop in a very specific way.

“Kids often grow physically (and) cognitively,” Young Athletes program manager Chastity Phillips said. “We see a lot of social development.”

The program allows siblings to participate, so Kiki’s sister will be with her during the program.

“When she was born, we didn't know she was going to have Down syndrome. We left the hospital and didn't know what to do with her,” Kiki’s mother, Amy Price, said. “Now we don't know what to do without her. She's amazing.”

Link: Special Olympics Florida