When Laura’s mom passed away, Laura and her husband Devin took on the role of caring for Laura’s sister Annie who has Down syndrome. They have now cared for Annie for 7 years, and they talk about the impact Annie has made on them and their children.
Jim is 51 years old and has Down syndrome and his mother, Shirlene, is in her mid-80’s. Shirlene never placed Jim in an institution, like many parents of her generation did, but instead brought him home and treated him like her other children. Shirlene and her husband had never heard of Down syndrome before, they did not know what it was and it devastated them both.
Cindy and Mike are the parents of Evan who is now 29 years old and has Spina Bifida. During an ultrasound, Evan was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Cindy and Mike were encouraged many times to abort him. When Evan was born, he stayed 17 days in the hospital and was also diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that was life-threatening. Cindy and Mike were lucky enough to find a great doctor who applauded them for not terminating their pregnancy, and was able to help them through their new journey. Evan is now a young man that is full of life; he is involved in many different activities, including a soccer team and a singing group.