Why Do We Need GiGi’s Playhouse Portland?

Caroline and Francisco recently moved to Portland from Michigan. They are both physicians and are blessed with 2 beautiful boys, Cisco (2.5 years) and Julian (7 months). The Castillos moved to Portland in the summer of 2018 seeking a more inclusive community and better opportunities for Cisco. While in Michigan they became acquainted with GiGi’s playhouse which was under construction in the Detroit-metro area. When they learned that a GiGi’s Playhouse was in the planning stages in Portland, they wanted to do everything they could to make this a reality. They recently joined the Planning Committee for GiGi’s Playhouse Portland.  

 Here is what they had to say when asked why they felt it was important to bring GiGi’s Playhouse to our community:  

 After learning that Cisco had Down syndrome, we felt entirely overwhelmed by uncertainty. We were referred to families of children with Down syndrome and had tremendous support from our own family; however, we still felt alone and disconnected from our friends with young families. Once we learned about GiGi’s, we knew this would be an ideal place for families like us to be welcomed and supported by a caring and knowledgeable community. GiGi’s has so much to offer at every stage: from what to expect and how to prepare at birth; to a drop-in center for therapy and play; to job and skills training; to helping family and friends become informed advocates. GiGi’s also provides a center for community members to learn about Down syndrome and the amazing capacity of our children. We are thrilled to be a part of this tremendous team effort in Portland! 

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