Kinley Palmer, 3.21 Run Youth Honoree


Kinley Palmer was diagnosed with Down syndrome moments after she was born. Mom Maria says it was overwhelming at first. “We didn’t know anyone with Down syndrome and didn’t know anything about it. It’s a lot to take in and we didn’t know what to do.”


Fortunately, the Palmers soon found GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis. “Once we got past those first few years – open heart surgery, therapies, and doctors’ appointments – we learned about GiGi’s. We love it because it’s a safe and inclusive place for Kinley and our family.”


Now 10-years old, Kinley is a third grader at Sand Creek Elementary School in Fishers. She’s participated in GiGi’s tutoring, reading, math, and kindergarten prep classes as well as GiGi Fit and Art Explosion. “She loves climbing the rock wall and hanging out with the other kids,” Maria says. “Thanks to GiGi’s her social skills are off the charts.”


Maria says Kinley is a “natural comedian,” kind, caring and loves to role play professions that help other people – like doctor and teacher. She also enjoys swimming, soccer, dance, and riding her bike with her 12-year old sister Paige.


“The best part about GiGi’s is its amazing volunteers and the parent support system,” Maria adds. “It’s been remarkable for our family to have this free service. We’ve developed lifelong friendships with families just like ours.”


Kinley’s uplifting story and outlook on life are an inspiration, and we are proud to honor her as the 2022 3.21 Mile Run Youth Honoree.

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