Hollywood comes to a Down syndrome Walk

IMG_0497[1]October is National Down Syndrome Month and each year group’s around the country hold their charitable walks to raise awareness. Here’s how Hollywood came to Down Syndrome of Louisville’s Walk.

This was our 10th year of participating in our local Down syndrome organization’s walk. We started in 2004, mere months after our daughter was born. For the first time ever, through the generosity of many supporters, including the readers here, we were the top fundraising team. And, then something even topped that.

This year, every major local news outlet covered the event. The Louisville Courier-Journal, reported on the Walk and posted the following video:

I appreciated the father speaking to the value of connecting with his local Down syndrome parent support organization. He recognizes that support in having one of the largest walk teams, showing the awe-inspiring outpouring of support that nobody can expect when they first learn their child has Down syndrome.

The FOX affiliate, WDRB, also ran a segment about the walk. Several of Louisville’s Kentucky and Southern Indiana families are shown having a lot of fun at this year’s Walk: 

WDRB 41 Louisville News 

And, the ABC affiliate, WLKY, posted a report to its website of a segment that aired.

But the final two reports shared some BREAKING NEWS.

The NBC affiliate, WAVE, not only ran a great segment, but its news anchor, Dawne Gee, a local favorite, graciously emceed the event. In her report, a mom speaks to the support she’s received through her local group and what “Down syndrome” means for her son. Gee also breaks the news that provided the Walk’s Hollywood ending.  wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather

Finally, WHAS, the CBS affiliate, structured its feature on Down Syndrome of Louisville’s Walk around the big news that was revealed at the Walk’s conclusion.

Milan Chakraborty, a Hollywood producer, will begin filming a movie in Louisville. It’s a love story, where an individual with Down syndrome plays a key role. Gail Williamson, a friend who runs Down Syndrome in  Arts and Media, first tipped me off about this development. I (and it turns out several others) immediately suggested David DeSanctis, one of our local members, as the person to play the movie role. As he mentioned in the WAVE report, he’s 

More than a rock star.

The producer, showing why he’s a good story teller, held the announcement until the end of the walk. Then, he surprised everyone by announcing that David would be starring in the movie. You can see David’s reaction in the WHAS segment below:

A true Hollywood ending to an awe-inspiring outpouring of support at our annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk.


  1. […] announced that DeSanctis would star in the title role. (I wrote about that great moment at this post, which includes video from local […]

  2. […] our annual walk, Milan Chakraborty, a film producer, announced that David DeSanctis, a lifelong member of DSL, would star as the title character in the […]

  3. […] because that’s the section he works in at the local supermarket. I wrote about DeSanctis being cast in the lead role in 2013 and then his Q&A after the film’s local premiere here in […]

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