Many of the children Aspire Kids serves across Chicago’s western suburbs have rare diagnoses or disabilities, which not only impacts their development, but also his or her family. The child highlighted this quarter has a familiar diagnosis, Down syndrome, but many of us are unfamiliar with the ongoing research to continue to support children with this diagnosis to prepare them for the future. The Aspire Kids team members will be donating to Funding Futures. We hope that Lia’s story, through the eyes of her parents, will inspire you to contribute to this cause.
“Lia was born about a year and a half ago with a surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome. Although this took our family by surprise, we quickly shifted our focus into finding ways to help support her development and future. Since she has joined our family, she has taught us more than we could have imagined about love, patience, expectations, work ethic, and real joy. We continue to learn from her every day and we are very proud of who she is.”
“Lia works very hard to reach her development milestones. She continues to surprise us today with new progress and when she wants to accomplish something, she has incredible focus and determination. We work with a speech therapist on feeding skills and language skills, an occupational therapist on her fine motor skills, a physical therapist on her gross motor skills, and a developmental therapist on her overall development. We are grateful for this committed team of therapists that help our family support Lia and reach her goals.”
National Association for Down Syndrome
“NADS has supported our family by setting us up with a mentor family in our local community. When we received Lia’s diagnosis, it was quite a surprise and we as parents needed to not only understand what it meant to have a child with Down syndrome but we needed to speak to other families that have gone through a similar journey. Connecting with other families in our community has been very helpful and rewarding.” www.nads.org.
Looking to the Future
One of the ways that our family is involved in the Down syndrome community is through Funding Futures, which is an annual fundraising event hosted by a dedicated group of families in the local Chicagoland area, supporting the cognition research efforts of the LuMind Foundation. Specifically, the goals of this research are to help people with Down syndrome participate more actively in school, lead more active and independent lives, and avoid the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. More information is available at www.fundingfutureschicago.com.