Supporting Parents and Families of Individuals with Special Needs
June 2 @ 9:30 am
Margaret Wines Park 500 N Center Street, Lehi UT
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Raised So Far


Our Goal
85% to goal

Aubrey's Angels

Our Story

It's hard to believe that Aubrey is nearly 12 years old!

Just the other day we were looking back at photos from Aubrey's birth, and couldn't believe how young we both were. We were kids! (Mark - 24, Amber - 23). It was Sunday afternoon when Amber went into labor. We had just sat down to relax and watch a show when Amber's water broke. She began to cry as she realize this little girl she'd been dreaming about for years was about to arrive! We had probably over-prepared in our packing for the hospital, but that turned out to be a good thing. Amber labored nearly 15 hours until the docs finally ordered an emergency c-section.
The surgery went smoothly (all things considered), and before we knew it our little girl was here! I was on camera duty, and followed our little baby back to a room where they began doing her Apgar tests... that's when everything starting to change. More docs in white coats started coming in to look at our new baby. Suddenly one turned to me and after confirming that I was the father, told me he needed to talk to me, and asked me to shut off my camera.
“Sir, your baby shows signs she may have Down Syndrome. Did you have any indications of this prenatally?" he asked.
"No." I responded.
He immediately disclaimed that he couldn't be certain until after genetic testing was completed, but I asked him how certain he was anyways...
"95%" he said.
It's hard to describe how you feel in a moment like that. Everything already felt surreal -- it was the birth of my first baby. But the joy I had been feeling after the delivery of our little girl just a minute or two before, was now being replaced with a overwhelming weight. Right then the nurse turned to me and said, "Baby is ready to go see Mommy... but we need to be quick. Baby needs to go to the NICU (New Born Intensive Care Unit).”
So I told them that Amber was a nurse, and would be able to tell that something wasn’t right. With that I asked if I could take Aubrey into her and let her know myself. So I grabbed my little angel, and went in to tell Amber. I remember placing Aubrey on Amber’s chest, and Amber started looking her over from head to toe.
Then I whispered to her, “Honey, our baby has down syndrome.”
“What? What’d you say?”
I repeated myself, in a louder voice, and Amber said, “Who said that!? Did the doctors say that? Why!?” Amber was frantic, I started to cry. I tried to keep telling her that everything was going to be okay. She was crying now also, and kept asking why this had happened to us. At the same time, the nurses were demanding we get Aubrey up to the NICU. So I went with baby Aubrey and the nurses, while Amber remained in surgery.
This was not how we had planned it…
Meeting Kathy
A few days passed. Aubrey had a barrage of tests performed, and despite a low heart rate and low O2 sats — she was doing well. We had numerous meetings with geneticists, neonatologists, and other medical specialists. They provided a great technical explanation of what was going on, but as Aubrey was stable and improving, our concerns were less about what got us here and more on what the future held. On the later topic, none of these “medical specialists” seemed qualified to answer. None of them had a kid with Down Syndrome. We were desperately looking for insights that might help us understand and prepare for how our life was about to change. In a situation like this: Google is your friend; is your enemy. While we found some things that appeared helpful/insightful at the time, there was plenty of other things that created stress.
It was around this time we got a knock on our hospital room door. The door opened and a nurse walked into our room.
“Hi, I’m Kathy. Are you the Lecks?” she asked. We confirmed.
“I’m a nurse here at the hospital, but am actually not assigned to you. I understand you have had a girl born with Down Syndrome. Is that right?”
“That’s right.” We said.
“Well, that’s why I wanted to talk to you. I also have a daughter with Down Syndrome, and I know exactly what you’re going through. In fact, although you may not feel this way right now, you’ve just won the lottery and you just don’t know it yet.”
We certainly didn’t feel the way we imagined lottery winners would feel, but her confidence was convincing and we wanted to know what she knew. Kathy went on to answer every question we could think to ask at that time. She told us all about her daughter and helped us understand our life wasn’t going to change as dramatically as we might have thought. Our conversation with her was one of the best experiences we had while at the hospital, and helped give us the confidence we needed as we faced this new challenge.
This visit was also the inspiration for United Angels. After getting our feet on the ground, we realized that not everyone has the chance to meet someone like Kathy. We wanted to create a way to help other parents meeting another parent who has a child with the same or similar condition that their child had been diagnosed with. Most of the money raised at the Walk with Angels event funds our new parent diagnosis program: Angels Among Us.
Aubrey is 9 now and doing amazing. She’s mainstreaming at her local elementary school. She loves reading, dancing, and riding her bike. She has some incredible friends who love and support her every step of the way. One of the best things about the Walk with Angels event is the opportunity for all of her friends, as well as our friends and family, who want to show their love and support for Aubrey to come out and walk with her during this advocacy event.
Come join us and Aubrey for this years Walk with Angels event. Join our team: Aubrey’s Angels — it would mean so much to us to have you at this event. Your support will help other parents who receive a diagnosis that their child has special needs, receive the same amazing support that we did.
Mark & Amber

About The United Angels Foundation

United Angels Foundation (UAF) is a nonprofit, parent-to-parent support group for families of children with special needs (our Angels). UAF believes that the most effective way to support these children is by supporting the parents and guardians who are raising them. Our main goals at UAF are to provide interaction, education, and resources to our parents. We implement these goals through our newborn visits and packets, online chat forums, parent educational seminars, parent lunches, "Mom's Night Out", and youth and family activities. Funds raised from the Walk with Angels event will specifically go towards financing our educational seminars, activities (including Freedom at the Pool, Hee Haws, and our annual Christmas party, as well as age-related activities), and to administer our newborn and new member program. Please join us in advocating for all the angels in our community!

2012 Highlight Videos

Walk Day Schedule

June 2, 2018 at 9:30 am
Margaret Wines Park 500 N Center Street, Lehi UT

9:30 a.m. Registration and Activities
11:00 a.m. Walk begins.
11:30 - 2:00 p.m. Fun in Wines Park

  • Entertainment, and meet and greet by
    Rachel Coleman From Signing Time
  • Advocacy groups will perform
  • Special Appearances by BYU's Cosmo, U's Swoop, UVU Wolverine, Super Heroes, Princesses and more!
  • Carnival Games and Gaming Truck
  • Free Carnival Snacks
  • Lunch is available for purchase
  • Prize Drawings, Raffles, Silent Auction
  • Service Booths
  • Vender Booths
  • Music and much more!

Team Members

  • Alyssa Cragun
  • Ben Peterson
  • Ben and Shauna Cramer
  • Chris Leck
  • David McLaughlin
  • Greg Templeman
  • Harris & Fran Leck
  • John and Monica Wall
  • Kate Nadauld
  • Kyle Shanklin
  • Margaret Leck
  • Mark and Amber Leck
  • Meghan Sonnenberg
  • Mikell Valgardson
  • Nate and Shelly Smith
  • Ryan Fish
  • Scott Hullinger
  • Scott Pann
  • Shauna Frossard
  • Thaylene Rogers
  • Wendy Ulrich