GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A remarkable little girl whose life ended too soon is the inspiration behind the upcoming Grand Rapids event Athletes Like Audrey.

Audrey Jandernoa was an energetic little girl who was born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. She died suddenly in January of 2018. She was five years old.

When she was two, Audrey’s parents signed her up for the Young Athletes program in Special Olympics Michigan. Young Athletes introduces small children with intellectual disabilities to sports. Audrey loved Special Olympics Michigan and her parents want to make sure other children and adults with intellectual disabilities can continue to be included and accepted through athletics.

Athletes Like Audrey is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics Michigan State Basketball Finals; the only statewide competition held in West Michigan. The games take place in March at Calvin College.

This year’s Athletes Like Audrey luncheon is June 5 at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids. It runs from noon until 1:30 p.m. Tickets for Athletes Like Audrey are still available.

Audrey was also known for her signature red glasses. The Red Glasses Movement started after her death to honor and remember her. Now people around the world have joined the movement and are posting pictures on social media wearing the red glasses. Learn more about the Red Glasses Movement here

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