The new year brings new opportunities and a chance to look back on how far we’ve come.  The beginning of 2015 marks our first anniversary here on The Road.  To measure our accomplishments we can look back at numbers:

But what do they really tell us?  In the fast-paced world of social media, those numbers may not be too impressive. But, in real life, I think, we’ve accomplished something pretty amazing.

We’ve started building relationships and supporting each other in a way that’s new and different from anything we’ve had before.  We’ve found a way to use social media as a vehicle to share our experiences.

For me, it’s the personal connections that really matter.

Personal Connections

One example:

In November, we posted 11 images that shared information about what medical issues we should be on the lookout for with our aging loved ones.   The idea was to provide caregivers with the latest research information in an easy to access format so they could discuss the issues with their family physicians.  Below is one example.

It makes it all worthwhile when even one family lets us know that our efforts helped them in their caregiving role.

Celeste Hart thank u, right on time, going to dr in the morning.

Kymmie Croft I have a 23 year old son, a 31 year old daughter and a 33 year old sister. They all live with me and this is good information!

*Facebook comments

Together We Can Do So Much

Two of my favorite months of last year were April and October.  In April, we participated in the A to Z blogging challenge.  We had quite a few guest bloggers help us post every day!  In October, in honor of Down syndrome Awareness month, we had another busy month of posting every day.  We also had our own photo campaign with a total of 62 great pictures (2 posted each day)!

A Little Help From Our Friends

We’re not out to reinvent the wheel. We’re working with the existing Ds groups, sharing our work and shining a light on the issues that affect us the most.  With financial support from our community, we were able to send a representative to the NDSC conference in Indianapolis.  We’re grateful for the opportunity that gave us to spread the word about our community and to meet some of the “movers and shakers” in the wider Ds community.

Year One At a Glance

 Year One on The Road Year One on The Road Year One on The Road Year One on The Road

What’s Next?

Advocacy on The Road We've SharedOver the past 12 months we’ve learned a lot from each other.  As we make plans and set goals for the new year, we’ll use the insights we’ve gained to focus our efforts.

Staying True To Our Mission

The Road We’ve Shared is, above all, a tribute to the memory of Ethan Saylor and an extension of his legacy.  2015 brings the second anniversary of his death.  We will be spending most of our efforts during the month of January on remembering him and sharing his story.

Hood College in Frederick, MD is sponsoring two live events and we will coordinate the virtual versions:

January 12, 2015 – Candlelight vigil in Frederick and online
January 23, 2015 – Rally and screening of Ethan’s Law Documentary

The rest of the year we will concentrate on the other items listed in our mission:

When I started The Road I had no idea where I was heading.  As I look back, I’m humbled by how many people have joined me and how much we’ve accomplished.

I’m extremely grateful for all your support and genuinely excited about starting our second year!

In the words of a very wise woman (Mary Wasserman – mother of Michael) :

Forward with hope in 2015!