John and Mark X. Cronin Addressed the NYC Marathon Team for Hope Story

Hope Story is one of the more vital advocacy organizations that John’s Crazy Socks has encountered so John and Mark X. Cronin, the co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks, were thrilled when they were invited to speak with the volunteers running the NYC Marathon to support Hope Story. Hope Story provides hope to parents who have received a Down Syndrome diagnosis. 

The Hope Story Marathon Team

Running for a Good Cause 

The team of nineteen runners, including co-founder Abbie Smith, MD, raised over $100,000 to support the mission of Hope Story. On the Friday before the NYC marathon, the team gathered at Patsy’s Pizzeria, for some carbo-loading and camaraderie. Rick Smith, the founder of Hope Story, asked John and Mark to speak to the team to offer some encouragement. 

John’s Crazy Socks has made custom Hope Story socks and each runner received a pair of those socks. 

The Hope Story Marathon Team Graphic

Offering Encouragement and Inspiration 

Together, John and Mark shared their story of overcoming obstacles. Mark shared some of his experiences from running the NYC Marathon, urging the runners to soak in the experience. Most importantly, they spoke of the importance of the Hope Story mission. 

John at the Hope Story Marathon Dinner

“We did not know in advance that John would be born with Down syndrome,” said Mark. We found out when the covering OB/GYN told us, ‘I am so sorry. I have bad news. It appears that your son may have a slight case of Down syndrome.’ Unfortunately that is what too many parents hear first, not the congratulations they deserve and not the wonderful news about their child.” (Mark has published an article about this experience and issue in the Huff Post.)   

Hope Story is working to change that experience. Hope Story is a non-profit based in Texas that has a mission to give support, encouragement, and hope to parents whose child has received a Down syndrome diagnosis. As part of that mission, Hope Story provides free resources to the medical community to help doctors deliver a Down syndrome diagnosis and support families. Hope Story also works to help parents of children born with Down syndrome use their story to bring hope to others. 

JOhn with Dr. Abbie Smith, Marathon Runner and Co-Founder of Hope Story

Keynote and Event Speakers 

You can have John and Mark speak to your organization or school. They share their entrepreneurial story of how a young man with Down syndrome together with his father created what is today the world’s largest sock store with a mission to spread happiness. Their speaking engagements bring laughter, tears and inspire people to see what is possible for each of us to achieve. They have spoken in person at events across Canada, the United States and Mexico and virtually at events around the world. They have spoken at events for Microsoft, EY, Bank of America, the Special Olympics, and the National Down Syndrome Society, among others. 

If you would like John and Mark to speak at your event, please visit the speaker’s pages at our website or contact them at

About Hope Story 

Hope Story is a team of medical professionals and storytellers that helps medical professionals deliver hopeful stories to their patients. They help parents raising children with Down syndrome leverage their unique story to bring hope to parents whose child has received a Down syndrome diagnosis. They connect parents whose child has received a new Down syndrome diagnosis to parents who have a child with Down syndrome so that they can receive encouragement, support, and hope. 

John with Rick Smith, Founder of Hope Story

You can learn more about Hope Story by visiting their website. When you learn about their mission, support them by volunteering and becoming a Hope Advocate or donating to their cause. You can also follow them on Facebook

About John’s Crazy Socks 

John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $650,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™. 

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at