Couple running for Down syndrome

ajames@newsobserver.comOctober 4, 2013 

— A husband and wife are hitting the pavement to help raise money for Down syndrome research. Their aim is to improve the lives of people with the disorder, including their 3-year-old son.

In January, Kim and Scott Torres moved from Texas to Clayton, where they now live with son Hayden and 10-month-old daughter Caroline.

Unlike most Down syndrome children, who are diagnosed at birth, Hayden was diagnosed when he was 8 months old.

“It was a very big shock, and it was a life-changing event,” Kim said.

Living with Down syndrome means Hayden will face challenges in speaking and problem-solving. It is a cognitive disorder, and people with Down syndrome face a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at an early age, in their 30s or 40s.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by having 47 chromosomes instead of the typical 46. Most people with Down syndrome usually rely on a caretaker and cannot live independently.

“I want Hayden to be able to be independent, to be fulfilled,” Kim said.

Kim, 33, and her husband, 34, have a history of running. She ran her first and only marathon in 2009 in Portland. Husband and wife ran next to each other.

Last year, Scott ran a marathon in Chicago to raise money for Down syndrome research. This year, he will run the full 26.2-mile Marine Corps Marathon, while Kim will run the 5K.

Kim said it’s been neat how they can combine a passion for something they enjoy with a cause that’s really important to them.

Scott, who works at Caterpillar, wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to go on his runs; Kim either goes when Hayden is at preschool or in the evenings.

“I love it because it’s my time outside,” Kim said.

They are hoping to raise $2,000 for Research Down Syndrome. The Marine Corps race is Oct. 27.

This month, Kim and Scott are asking people to “Eat at home for Hayden,” donating the money they would have spent at a restaurant.

To donate, visit: www.crowdrise.com/bexarsrws.

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