Overcoming tough obstacles, GiGi Gianni inspires a network of playhouses that help others learn and achieve. Now she’s strutting her stuff for baseball fans.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2021 (Hoffman Estates, IL) – Prepare to be inspired when teen, GiGi Gianni, takes the microphone at Guaranteed Rate Park on Wednesday, September 15th to sing the national anthem.
At just 19 years old, GiGi Gianni is changing the world. She is the namesake of GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers – a fast-growing national network of playhouses that help people with Down syndrome learn, thrive, and breakthrough barriers in unprecedented ways.
GiGi’s Playhouse was founded within a year of GiGi’s birth by her mother, Nancy Gianni, who wanted to create a place where families could celebrate their children with Down syndrome, and completely alter their experience and perspective without adding more expenses to their already often-hefty medical bills.
GiGi’s singing of the national anthem before a crowd of 40,000 fans would be a remarkable accomplishment for anyone. Children with Down syndrome have low muscle tone, which makes speaking and singing much more difficult.
“People with Down syndrome can’t control their breathing or articulate words in a way that comes naturally to most of us,” explained Nancy Gianni, who is also Chief Belief Officer at GiGi’s Playhouse. “GiGi has loved the national anthem since she was a child. It’s taken her years of hard work, determination and therapy to prepare herself for this big moment,” according to her mother.
GiGi’s Playhouse – which has grown from a single location in 2003 in Hoffman Estates, IL, to a network of 54 playhouses in the U.S. and Mexico – provides therapeutic, educational, and career development programs that are 100% free to families, thanks to generous supporters. With its new virtual education platform, GiGi’s now also reaches and serves families in 71 countries.
Making appearances is a regular part of GiGi Gianni’s life, as both she – and the organization inspired by her birth – have come of age. GiGi is part of a generation of young people with Down syndrome with the potential to live twice as long – and achieve much more – than those born with an extra chromosome just thirty years ago. Helping young people with Down syndrome prepare for careers is a growing part of the work of GiGi’s Playhouse.
GiGi has been featured globally around the world, hosts her own podcast and has even inspired a book - #GenerationG about her life. She works and is a full-time student, but she also tirelessly travels the world to help us celebrate the grand opening of each new playhouse and spread the GiGi’s message of love and acceptance for all!
GiGi said “I want to sing so good and make everyone proud of me. I worked very hard and have a big dream of singing at Comiskey Park for my dad’s favorite team. I promise I will hit my notes.” Video of GiGi practicing.
About GiGi’s Playhouse
GiGi’s Playhouse is the ONLY nationwide network of Down syndrome achievement centers. GiGi’s Playhouse was founded by GiGi’s mom, Nancy Gianni, in Hoffman Estates, IL. Through its first 18 years, GiGi’s Playhouse has grown to 54 locations throughout the United States and Mexico and serves families in 71 countries. GiGi’s offers over 50 different therapeutic, educational, and career development programs for individuals with Down syndrome of all ages, their families, and the community. The organization is 99% volunteer-run, and all programs are 100% free to families. From prenatal diagnosis through career skills, GiGi’s Playhouse makes a lifetime commitment to families. With over 200,000 free program participation hours annually, GiGi’s Playhouse helps participants thrive through building educational, developmental, fitness, fine and gross motor, social-emotional, and speech and language skills.
For more information about free programs, volunteerism, impact partnerships, events, and many ways to support GiGi’s Playhouse families: please visit www.gigisplayhouse.org.
Images of GiGi Gianni are available here.