BENEFITING: DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION OF HAMPTON ROADS
EVENT DATE: Oct 22, 2017
On October 8th, myself, Erick, Georgina, my sister Kayla and her boyfriend Dan will be doing a 5k in honor of the always wonderful Gionni. He is our first born child who has brought more light to our lives than we could ever imagine. Our journey with having a child with Down Syndrome is odd statistically as pre-natal tests did not flag a Down Syndrome diagnosis. We did go for an extra ultrasound as one indicator popped up on the 16 week ultrasound but it was discredited by a doctor at the fetal monitoring unit at Balboa Naval Hospital. When Gionni was born, we seemed to have every doctor in the hospital checking him out and rushing him to different check ups due to the many common ailments with Trisonomy 21. Each time, he was wheeled back with negative test results and a passing hearing test! We knew that our son was going to be different like each child born is but he was going to make a difference in the world for other individuals with Down Syndrome. In our hospital room, Erick told the social worker "I don't care what you think he has, he is still going to play hockey". We have never hid the fact that he has Down Syndrome but embraced it and made it a normalcy in our every day lives. The wonderful therapists who have helped him and us to teach him to crawl, walk, talk, feed himself, etc., have become like family to us who we look forward to seeing every week. Events like these help the public to see what people with Down Syndrome can do instead of what they can't do so when someone else in the world has a kid born with Down Syndrome, they understand that their life will change for the better instead of the opposite. The Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads puts on many events and has tons of resources for families but they can't do anything without donations. We have only been back in Virginia for a year but are thankful to have found this wonderful family.