SANGER, TX -- "We're just sick. We can't imagine."
This past year was probably the best of 20-yer-old Blake Pyron's life. He became Texas' only business owner with Down Syndrome, he had his business logo on a NASCAR, and he had a national scholarship named for him, among other things.
"Blake, you receive a lot of love, huh?" his mom, Mary Ann, asked him Sunday.
"Love!" the cheery Blake responded.
But for Blake's family, seeing a mentally disabled 18-year-old in Chicago tortured on camera was a cold dose of reality.
"It's, of course, one of our biggest fears," Mary Ann Blakely said. "You want to keep your child safe, but you also want to have them included in society, and we're just heartbroken."
The Pyrons aren't ones to sit back and wait for the world to change, though.
"I knew we wanted to do something," Mrs. Pyron said. "We wanted to send our love and support from Texas."
That's why Blake spent his Sunday morning packing a box of Blake's Snow Shack gear for the 18-year-old known as Austin.
"We want to encourage all moms in Texas to send them some well wishes," Mrs. Pyron said.
Because acts like Austin faced, and the four people who Chicago cops say are his attackers, don't represent the world Blake and his family know we can live in.
"We still have to push forward, and we won't stop," Mary Ann Pyron said. "I feel like we are human rights activists."
If you want to show some love to Austin as well, you can send your well wishes to:
P.O. Box 641
Cary, Illinois 60013