Amherst boy with Down syndrome chosen for Times Square video

Ryker Stark Roliczek, an amazing boy with Down syndrome, defied the odds after he was born. In his first year of life, he had to fight leukemia, have heart and stomach surgery and battle liver and oxygen issues. His mom is grateful for every day she has with him and fortunately his health has changed for the better. He now enjoys the simple things in life like every kid should; spending time with his parents and his little brother. But Ryker was also recently recognized for being the handsome star that he is.

On Saturday, the NYC Buddy Walk shared a video presentation before the walk in Times Square that featured and celebrated hundreds of kids and adults with Down syndrome, including sweet Ryker. But that’s not the only place he was featured. His beautiful face is also on a billboard on Amherst and Grant Street in Buffalo that says “Love doesn’t count chromosomes.”

“It’s absolutely amazing that we were asked to be a part of this! When I received a prenatal down syndrome diagnosis the doctor pushed for termination many times, so I switched doctors. I think a lot of women are scared when they get the diagnosis and sometimes either don’t know what to do or feel pressured into decisions. Having this billboard, I hope will save many lives that deserve to be here. Just because someone is going to be born different doesn’t mean that their life isn’t valued. Ryker is the light of my life, he has brought more joy into my life than I ever thought was possible. Everyone that meets him instantly falls in love. One glimpse of that smile and your heart will melt. He really does have a heart of gold already. Down syndrome isn’t scary. In fact, it’s one of the most beautiful things in my life and I would never ever change the way Ryker is.” – Ryker’s mom


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