Ben’s Journey to the Finish Line

“Ben’s Journey to the Finish Line” 

Meet Ben, one of our awesome GiGi’s participants! A few months before our GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge (GFAC) event in June 2023, Ben started training at a local park with his mom, Janet, since he had never been a runner before. Actually, most of Ben’s life, he walked looking down at the ground and did not look where he was going, which made activities like learning to run or ride a bike challenging for him. To train for the 5K, his mom had to break down the skill and teach him how to hold his head up, keep his shoulders back, pump his hands, bring his knees high, and watch where he was going. After lots of practice, Ben was ready to run his first 5K. On the day of the event, he did an awesome job participating in and completing the GFAC 5K through Lancaster and the Dash for Down syndrome around the bases on the Barnstormer’s baseball field. He seemed so proud of himself crossing the finish line and home plate with a huge applause from his GiGi’s friends and family! One of our volunteers, Beth, shared, “I was so happy for Ben and his family when he crossed the finish line with his sister at the 5K!” 


On a weekly basis, Ben consistently participates in a variety of purposeful programming at GiGi’s Playhouse Lancaster, including GiGiFIT Adult. He tries his best to work out and run alongside his peers at GiGiFIT each week! The volunteers can observe that he is becoming stronger and faster! His new GiGiFIT instructor, Beth, notes, “I’ve only taught GiGiFIT twice, but Ben is always ready to go! He gives 100% and encourages those around him to participate!”  

A few days after GFAC, Janet, shares that, “Ben came out of his room with his running shorts and his Apple watch, and said he was going for a run!!! Ben has been running almost every day since then…eagerly showing his progress as his watch monitors his exercise and smiling every time he comes back home….beaming with pride.” Ben continues to run around his neighborhood and is getting ready for his next 5K run on October 7, the Hartz Physical Therapy Fall Blast 5K, where GiGi’s Playhouse Lancaster was chosen as the beneficiary! Janet, shared that, “Ben is practicing hard for the Fall Blast 5K!” 

Way to go Ben at giving your Best of All through your journey to the finish line! Good luck at the race this Saturday! We encourage you to also register to participate in the Hartz Fall Blast 5K with Ben or come cheer on Ben and the other runners! 

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