DrSears' Blog

Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles Buddy Walk

This Sunday, I will have the honor of serving as Grand Marshal for the 15th annual DSALA Buddy Walk. This is such a great event that helps raise awareness for Down syndrome and support for those born with it, like my youngest brother, Stephen. This is a really big event, with thousands attending every year! This makes me a little nervous (actually, a lot nervous!) since I need to give a little 5-minute speech and I have NO idea what I’m going to say yet!Dr. Jim Sears and his brother, Stephen

A lot of people ask me what it was like growing up with a sibling with Down syndrome. I usually remind them than growing up as the oldest of eight was going to be a little crazy, even without a brother with special needs. I will never forget the day that Stephen was born. Despite my mom and dad being experts at raising children, they both had that “lost” look in their eyes as they realized that Stephen would be different; they had no idea what to expect. 

In the 20 years since Stephen was born, I have seen that same look in parents’ eyes as I tell them that their newborn has Down syndrome. It certainly is a sad moment for parents, but I always want to tell them that Stephen has been a constant source of joy and laughter in our family. As my “aunt” Sandy always put it, “Stephen will always be a silly 5-year-old, even when he’s a grown man …” Whether it’s farting as loud as he can during the moment of silence in church, or insisting he smother all his food in ketchup (even the finest filet mignon at the finest restaurant!) every family gathering is filled with silliness, thanks to Stephen playing “horse” and “steam-roller” with all the young grandchildren!  DSALA Buddy Walk

Of course, there are also special challenges that face a child with Down syndrome. Many are born with heart or intestinal problems that need surgery or special diets. Despite the challenges of raising a child with Down syndrome, I think it makes you a better parent as you learn new strategies to cope with things like a very muscular 20-year-old throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t want to pass the ketchup!

When a baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome, I want to tell the parents, “Wow! You guys are going to have soooo much fun!” But, of course, I can’t. I need to let them find this out for themselves over time. That is why I am so happy to be a part of this year’s DSALA Buddy Walk!  I have formed a team to help fundraising, called The Sears Squad!  Please help raise awareness and support for these families. Come on out to your local buddy walk or just click on my team link for other ways you can get involved!

Dr. Jim’s Buddy Walk Team Page!
DSALA Buddy Walk Registration
DSALA Buddy Walk Autograph Page

-Dr Jim


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Hello... Dr. Jim,

Thank you so much, for creating such a wonderful awareness for adults and children with 'special needs.' I was fortunate enough to work with L'Arche in Edinburgh, Scotland after college. I volunteered as a house assistant, living one on one with adults with 'special needs.' I have to say, that they are a God send to us and we are blessed to have them in our lives. They are 'eternal innocence' and they make us all better people. We are blessed to be in their presence. I also have to say, that from my experience in L'Arche, Edinburgh. I have created a modern day Irish Faerytale story, and I involve my experience with adults and children with 'special needs' in my story. Hopefully, it will be published in a few months. But, I am thrilled that 'The Doctors' embrace and welcome the 'special needs' community. Sometimes, we have to forget about our own personal needs and embrace others, in order to fully be happy!

Thank you! Wish I wasn't on the east coast! I'd TOTALLY be there!

God Bless!



I don't see how you do it all Dr. Jim.  You bless the lives of many from your family to your colleagues on THE DOCTORS,

to twitter "Ask Dr. Jim Day" to Down Syndrome Association Of Los Angeles Buddy Walk and more.  A shining example to your profession and to the human race.  Plus, you volunteer for many of the examples on THE DOCTORS.  Y'all's banter on THE DOCTORS and UR sharing on twitter often make the days of many with a smile.  Thank you Dr. Jim and all y'all at THE DOCTORS.

Sincerely, SEA



Wish I could be there

My baby neice died with this and other complications I wont get into now! and I so proud of you being there with your brother!




Thank you for bringing awareness to Down Syndrome. I am a special education teacher, and my students with Down Syndrome are by far my favorite. Even if am having a horrible day, they always find a way to bring a smile to my face! Thanks again for all that you do!!


Thank you for bringing awareness to Down Syndrome. I am a special education teacher, and my students with Down Syndrome are by far my favorite. Even if am having a horrible day, they always find a way to bring a smile to my face! Thanks again for all that you do!!


I think that you have already written your speech!


DR. PHIL'S RELAXATION SCRIPT:  Appendix A, page 285 - 286 WLC book  BREATHE to count of FIVE each way ...in and out... (7 FOR FOOTBALL STARS).  Ten each way to go to sleep. Count for yourself for each in-breath and out-breath for at least five minutes.  To ten to relax to go to sleep.  Oh, remember doctor on your show that said to count backwards in 3's (?) from 300.

Dr. Jim, note to yourself that you are balancing your out-breaths and in-breaths, letting the stress and tension leave your body, and allowing the good nurturing air to come in. You are releasing the stress and bringing the healing forces in.   Breathing out EXACTLY to count of1-2-3-4-5.

For a few moments, practice letting go of any tension, stress, feelings, or thoughts that you don't need right now. Let them go.  Then breathe in EXACTLY to the count of 1-2-3-4-5... Next, I want you to know that when you let these things go with your out-breath, you are replacing that space with good, nurturing air with your in-breath.  Visualize that good air coming into your body and healing whatever needs restoration. 

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DrSears (Featured Writer)
Dr. James (“Dr. Jim”) M. Sears, M.D., is a board certified pediatrician...
Member since: 10/21/08
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