More “Ups” Than Downs! Guest Blog by Kristi Ross

Charm and Grace Gives Back Down Syndrome Awareness Gigi’s Playhouse More Ups Than Downs

Our youngest of three children, Grace, is 5 years old and was born with Down Syndrome or what we like to call “Up’s” and multiple heart defects.

When you get a Down Syndrome diagnosis you feel like your world has fallen apart in an instant, but before long you learn that really your life is falling into place. Grace’s extra chromosome doesn’t define her, but it sure does make her extra awesome. She is witty, brave, hilarious, smart, compassionate, hard-working, tender-hearted, forgiving, and full of pure love and joy.

Grace has had 6 open heart surgeries and will need at least one more, but that hasn’t slowed her down. While Grace’s life is far from easy (battling health issues, working harder than typically developing friends to master new skills, etc) and parenting a child with Down Syndrome is equally as hard (constantly having to learn, grow, and adapt your approach to ensure you are giving your child every opportunity to excel to their fullest potential), if given the option to take that extra chromosome out of Grace, we would not even consider it… not for a second! God knew exactly what He was doing when he placed Grace Astrid Ross in our lives; she changed the way we view everything in life in the very best of ways.

The Down Syndrome community is one of the coolest group of people you could ever want to meet. There is a common bond, without even speaking a word you have a mutual understanding and agreement that we are the lucky ones. Our prayer is that the world would know just how amazing these kids are and not to count them out because the sky really is the limit.

This is where GiGi’s Playhouse swoops in to fill in the gap. It has been a true honor and joy to serve as a Founder and Board Member of the 27th nation wide location of GiGi’s Playhouse, right here in Sugar Land. GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center’s mission is to “change the way the world views Down Syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down Syndrome, their families and the community. We offer free therapeutic and educational programming to individuals with Down syndrome (newborn to adults) and their families.” GiGi’s Playhouse operates 100% on the generosity of our donors. Thank you for joining us on this mission!

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