Local organization working to change the narrative on Down syndrome

Local organization working to change the narrative on Down syndrome

Local organization working to change the narrative on Down syndrome

A local organization is celebrating babies with Down syndrome while raising awareness about the way this life-changing diagnosis is delivered to families.

Jack’s Basket held a Sunday celebration to mark 10 years of delivering more than 8,000 welcome baskets to babies with Down syndrome across the country.
When Amy Hernandez, a celebration attendee, was pregnant with her baby girl, she left a doctor’s appointment with life-changing news.

“We have a daughter with Down syndrome,” Hernandez said.

At 12 weeks, she found out her baby would likely be born with Down syndrome, but she explained the diagnosis was not delivered with care.

“No, not at all. We had a very difficult experience,” she said.

Jack’s Basket was created to make experiences like this easier.

“That’s what Jack’s Basket is doing is changing how we welcome and celebrate babies uniquely created with an extra chromosome,” Jack’s Basket founder Carissa Carroll said.

The organization carefully crafted best practices for health care providers to tell families unexpected news.

The founder speaks from experience. Her son Jack was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

“When Jack’s diagnosis was given, it was given to my husband while he was alone and it was really assumptive and insensitive,” Carroll said. “It broke my heart.”

The organization delivers welcome baskets to families that are navigating the life changes. The baskets are full of blankets, clothing, guidance and stories filled with hope.

“It’s filled my heart with so much joy to see the families thriving,” Carroll said. “We wouldn’t change our child. We just want to change the way the world views our child.”

She wants these babies to be celebrated and surrounded with love from the moment they’re born.

“It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of where a group of people share a common experience,” Hernandez said.

This organization created a curriculum, “Communicating Unexpected News,” on the best ways for health care providers to tell families their baby has Down syndrome.

They’re launching those best practices on World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.

People can donate to help Jack’s Basket continued mission by clicking here.