Updated: 12/08/2013 10:47 PM
Created: 12/08/2013 7:49 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson
Parents of children with special needs can face extra challenges. But, through struggles, there is a lot of joy. One local woman has made it her mission to contribute to their happiness.
A KSTP crew caught up with 15-year-old Arjuante Davis as he was sitting at a table with his sisters. The teenager with Down syndrome was enjoying a pre-holiday party.
His mom says finding activities, like the pre-holiday party, can be tough. "We just moved from Minneapolis out to the suburbs of Savage and now it's kind of hard to find different programs out there for him," his mother said.
Laquila Brown says a chance meeting with Kathryn Jensen has helped her son flourish.
"He's a special light in my house," said Brown.
Jensen and Brown met at a gathering for folks with Down syndrome.
"I have a son with Down syndrome and I am thrilled with the people that we have met," said Jensen.
Jensen wanted to do more for the special needs community. So she created a program called B.L.A.S.T., it stands for "Bold Lives and Strong Ties."
It's all about providing opportunities for individuals and families dealing with a disability. Some of the activities they've been involved in range from the Miracle Feet for Miracle Treats Triathlon, Sunday bowling to the Twin Cities Marathon.
"We're getting out in the community," Jensen said.
She says, running B.L.A.S.T is like having a part time job. So Jensen is at a cross roads, she can either cut back or enlist the help of volunteers to spread more joy.
"What is really important is to make it something that a volunteer finds happiness that they're actually receiving a lot of fun and happiness and joy from the experience," she said.
She says the effort is all about the kids and seeing them so content.
Brown says, B.L.A.S.T. has given her son an outlet and a feeling of acceptance.
"She's just been a blessing to me and my family," said Brown.