As luck would have it – We found our place

Four years ago, while pregnant with Baz, Yusef and I went on a drive in search of lunch and a hiking trail. We stumbled upon a deli, and as luck would have it, the deli was next to a building adorned with photos of people with Down syndrome. This was GiGi’s Playhouse. At the time, we knew that Baz had a 90% chance of being born with Down syndrome, but we had no idea what that really meant. We were scared and uncertain, with no prior experience or knowledge of Down syndrome. Then, we saw GiGi’s for the first time, and by pure coincidence, we felt an overwhelming sense of comfort. The sight of all those beautiful faces displayed proudly on the building reassured us that everything would be okay and that we had found a place where we could find camaraderie and support.

A year and a half later, we brought Baz to GiGi’s Playhouse for their GiGiFIT program, a playgroup led by a physical therapist. From the moment we walked in, we knew we had found our place. The warmth and acceptance we felt were like nothing we had ever experienced before. We were inspired by the positivity and joy that surrounded us, and we still feel all those things every time we visit GiGi’s.

On May 7, GiGi’s Playhouse is holding the Dash for Down Syndrome, a GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge to raise awareness of their mission to change the way the world views people with Down syndrome. The challenge also aims to raise mission-critical donations that enable GiGi’s Playhouse to provide volunteer-led, FREE, lifelong, life-changing therapeutic, educational, and career training programs for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Our family has created a GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge team called Best Buddies with Baz, and we’re hoping to raise enough funds to have Baz’s smiling face displayed on the very building that gave us so much comfort all those years ago. It would be incredible to have Baz’s picture provide comfort and hope to another couple facing the uncertainty and unknowns of Down syndrome, or to positively change the way even one person views Down syndrome. After all, there’s nothing down about it.

We would be honored if you joined us at Lake Park on May 7 or donated to Baz’s team to support GiGi’s Playhouse. To register or donate, please use this link:…/best-buddies-with-baz

Thank you for considering supporting this incredible organization, and for helping us to make a difference in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families ❤️

With Love, Michelle Khan, Baz’s mom

Baz and brother Emra outside of GiGi’s 4.13.2023

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