Why I Got Involved
When I imagine my children’s futures, I see them living happy, productive, independent lives, enjoying a strong community of faith, family and friends, having a job that makes them proud, and a home where they are safe and comfortable. This vision is the same for my daughters Brianna and Kayleigh, and my 13-year-old son Cameron who has Down syndrome. As a young man with Down syndrome, Cam spends every day of his life as one in approximately 800 people. He knows he is different; he can see that when he looks around his school, goes to a restaurant, or plays with family and friends. Cam knows that many tasks are more difficult for him than for his peers and that he must work harder than a lot of other people. As he grows, he will continue to see those differences in his work place, his church and volunteer community, while out shopping, and just walking down the street. Where I don’t want Cam to feel different is in his home. Something that my son and I have in common is the love of putting pajamas on soon after we are home for the night. That feeling of comfort and lack of self-consciousness is the best part of our days. A Special Needs Community Initiative is going to give Cameron that comfort. It will provide a safe environment with friends who also have intellectual disabilities so that he doesn’t need to feel different. He will be able to receive the supports he needs to live independently, enjoy programs and events with his neighbors, and wear his pajamas when he gets home from work.