SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Meghan Craig is not letting Down syndrome get in the way of leading a group on an adventure.
On a beautiful day in her Clairemont neighborhood, she rings her bicycle bell to start another exuberant excursion with the group known as the "COVID Cruisers." No matter what kind of wheels they are using, Meghan makes sure neighbors young and older, on two legs and four, don't miss this daily ride.
Her mother Kelly Craig says, "We had to drop so many activities during COVID, but Meghan made this one up and it means the world to her to do this every day." Meghan nods in agreement, "Right."
"We call her the town crier," says Karen Scanlon. She adds that Meghan stops by each house to call on the neighbors to ride, in what started out as an unlikely alliance. When asked what about Meghan is so inspiring Karen says, "Meghan just adds so much affection to everything that we do."
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She's been doing that her whole life. Kelly says from the time Meghan was a little girl, she has been the spark that lights up the room, and now at age 37, she shows no signs of letting up.
"She keeps me active, always suggesting let's do this or what are we doing today, what else, what's next?" says Kelly.
Each ride has a theme. On this day it’s the Mars Rover. Karen says it’s the silliness that holds them together like glue.
How big a difference have the rides made to her?
“Oh wow, huge difference," she says. “It has made a huge difference to me just to know more people in our neighborhood.”
It’s a chance to escape the COVID division that comes with being cooped up, in favor of fresh air, fun times, and friendship. Meghan’s father, Jim, says, “This little girl here is definitely creating a path for a lot of people to follow.”
Jim says the fact that Meghan has Down syndrome does not detract from her ability to lead. Meghan does it quietly by example.
“The whole world thinks Down syndrome is a handicap, but when you only look at people with love like Meghan do you wonder who's really handicapped?”
Kelly and Meghan say COVID Cruisers will continue even after the pandemic ends, they just may need a new name. For her unwavering positive attitude and love for her neighbors, ABC 10News and Lead San Diego are proud to select Meghan Craig as the 10News Leadership Award winner for the month of June.
To nominate someone for the 10News Leadership Award, click here.