Two local boys will be taking part in the Fourth of July parade in Delaware to raise awareness and donations for Childhood Apraxia of Speech, a disorder they both suffer from.
Best friends Jaxon Williamson, 6, and Austin Stromski, 4, will be riding in a vintage Chevrolet Chevelle during Thursday’s parade, which will start at 3 p.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. As in previous years, the parade will travel down Pennsylvania Avenue, make a right onto Sandusky Street, turn left on Wilmer Street, and end at Selby Stadium on Henry Street.
Jaxon’s mother, Megan Williamson, said that Apraxia is a speech disorder that affects the way kids pronounce words and makes it difficult for children to produce the correct syllables. Williamson said that with intense speech therapy, children can overcome the disorder as they grow up. Williamson said both boys have been attending speech therapy since they were 18-months old to begin overcoming the disorder.
Williamson added Jaxon and Austin met at preschool and became fast friends.
“Their bond is unexplainable,” she said. “They just get each other. I feel like they just get each other so when they are around each other they are just themselves. They don’t have to worry about people judging them. Their true personalities shine when they are together.”
Williamson said the boys are currently the top team in the 2019 Columbus Walk for Apraxia, a charity drive being held on Sept. 15 in Dublin, and they have already raised more than $2,300 for research.
“We’re trying to raise awareness and raise money for research,” Williamson said. “We were trying to think of different ways and I saw a post on Facebook about the parade and we decided to enter it.”
She said there will also be float in the parade advertising the event. She added that cards with information about the boys and their donation drive will be handed out at the parade.
“I’m excited,” she said. “One of the reasons I’m doing it is to spread awareness around the community. It takes a village to raise a child, and a lot of people have never even heard of Apraxia. Just making the community aware of the disorder and what it is, is my goal, even if we don’t get any money donated to the fundraiser.”
More information about the walk and about Jaxon and Austin’s team can be found at http://community.apraxia-kids.org/columbuswalk.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.