Sarah Palin Says Son Trig Is a 'Typical Rowdy 1-Year-Old'
06/08/2009 AT 11:55 AM EDT
"We are just so blessed to have this child in our lives," Palin said before a crowd of about 1,000 people. "What God has shown us with Trig in our lives is 'Yes, every single person has purpose no matter their developmental abilities.' "
Also at the event – a fundraiser for Independent Group Home Living, a non-profit for children and adults with developmental disabilities – were Palin's husband, Todd; their 14-year-old daughter Willow; and Palin's sister Heather Bruce and her son Karcher, 14, who has autism.
"Having a son being born with Down syndrome is a whole new chapter of our lives," Palin said. Her voice began wavering slightly as she continued: "I tell Todd that God has blessed us, and we don't ask, 'Why me? Why us?' We say at this point, finally – and to be honest with you it's taken a while for us to get to this point where we can say, 'Thank you, God for allowing us to recognize the special needs community.' Without Trig this would be absent from us. I am at a point in my life of thanking God for blessing us with this bundle of joy who is this typical rowdy 1-year-old."
The former Republican nominee for vice president reiterated a pledge she made during the 2008 campaign to help those with disabilities. "Just because our ticket placed second, second out of two," she said, "you still have an advocate for the cause."
Palin also walked with her family in Purchase, N.Y., for Autism Speaks, which she said was "really great" for her nephew Karcher to get to see that "there's a whole lot of people out there who share with him some of the challenges he's living with and overcoming."
Palin, in a black and white layered skirt and a black sweater set, arrived to a cheering crowd, and spoke to a group of women who had yelled for her to stop for a chat.
"We loved her. She thanked us," said Deanna Varricchio, of Smithtown, and a member of the Smithtown Republican Woman's Club. "It's wonderful that she's here. She's a beautiful person."