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Tonya’s Why

Baby Jamison with his proud mom and dad.

Having a son with Down Syndrome has changed my life…. for the better! When I was 34 weeks pregnant, I unexpectedly went into labor- a labor of love I never knew was coming! Jamison was born around 8pm, 9lbs-14oz and code blue. He was whisked off to the NICU and we were uncertain of the future of our big bundle of love. When he was stabilized, we could go see him. We were met by the NICU doctor and I will never forget those words… “We have a concern about your baby”. I took one look at him and I knew…He had Down Syndrome.
I have always worked with people with disabilities and I honestly wasn’t scared to have a child with a “diagnosis.” I knew in my heart that I already had a passion for people with disabilities and I was lucky enough that God gave me one of my own. I made a promise to my son that I would be his biggest advocate and that is why I became involved with GiGi’s Playhouse.

All who enter GiGi’s get to see Jamison’s handsome face! He’s on the front door 🙂

I was lucky enough to start this journey with some amazing parents on a mission—and bring GiGi’s Playhouse to Fargo! I love the programs GiGi’s offers people with Down Syndrome of all ages. I also like the fact that it is inclusive to our entire family, siblings and all! Jamison has had the privilege of benefiting   from many programs already including Literacy Tutoring, Playhouse Pals, Family Events, and the Walk, just to name a few. My other children are exposed to other families and people with Down Syndrome, all the while being supported by sib-shops and other inclusive events.




Jamison working hard and having fun at Little Fingers!

Being a volunteer at GiGi’s Playhouse is one of the greatest joys I have as a person, a mom and an advocate. I enjoy giving back to our community, visiting with other families, meeting new people and “belonging” where people understand.

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day with his sisters at GiGi’s Playhouse Balloon release!




I am most thankful, however, for the programming geared to assist Jamison reach his full potential. For that, I am forever grateful.








Remember GiGi’s Playhouse on February 9th for Giving Hearts Day 2017!

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