“Like so many before me, Ryan’s diagnosis at birth was a complete shock. The first few days were a total blur of grieving and going through the motions. Add an emergency c-section to that mix and I was just about done. I was told not to google anything about Down syndrome by the NICU doctor just because he didn’t want me to be misinformed so I didn’t find about about 21 Strong or the CT Down Syndrome Congress for at least 6 weeks until after Birth to Three started working with Ryan. It was then we were told that a local Down syndrome group was holding a Halloween Boo Bash. Up until this point, I had known no one with Down syndrome and this would be our first interaction with parents and kids with Ds. Walking into the venue was rough. I burst into tears when approach by a mom I knew was waiting to meet us for the 1st time. It was there I met so many wonderful moms and Melody who was there representing 21 Strong. To be honest it took me a few years to finally starting going to events hosted by 21 Strong. Once actively participating, I kind of wished I hadn’t waited so long because I felt I missed out of some wonderful experiences.
21 Strong has opened the doors to many new friendships, opportunities and lifelong learning. I am grateful we have such a wonderful organization like this in our area. It’s always an adventure with our kids and glad to have moms from 21 Strong understand what I’m going through and be there for support on this crazy ride.”