The Knowlton Family

Meet Margot and Family

“To describe Margot in one word it would be, tenacious! She is a great friend, and a strong advocate for kids with special needs. She is sensitive to the needs of others and has such a great spirit! Margot was born with Down Syndrome and has always had to work extra hard to do simple things. But she is wonderfully tenacious.”

“Margot considers herself to be an average 15-year-old high schooler and she has a good group of friends. She has an older brother who will be going off to college in the fall, and a 4-year-old brother we adopted after fostering him when he was a baby. We know Margot sometimes feels left out, being a girl with special needs in the middle of her brothers, but she truly loves her family.”

“As a toddler we received in-home therapy support and the therapists would often come to the home with their bags of toys and treats. Margot quickly learned that bags were like a treasure chest! You never know what is inside. If we were at the beach or with other friends, she would often go through bags hoping to find something fun. She had such a light even as young toddler that her inquisitiveness wasn’t a bother! She has always been very curious of people”

“Now that Margot is 15 years old her curiosity has turned into compassion. Margot was crowned Miss Illinois Amazing Junior Teen and she will be going to Nationals in July. This is an advocacy event that empowers young women with special needs to speak up for themselves, to gain confidence, and to inspire others. Margot wants to be a writer when she grows up and has been doing a lot of writing. She also volunteers, does charity events, and advocacy work for kids with disabilities. We are so proud of her!”

“Margot has a great friend group of kids who have special needs and some who do not. Margot would say that she and her friend group are ‘Really cool!’ . They do typical teenage things like go to the movie theater, go to McDonald’s, or hang out at each other’s home. Though she has great time with her friends and her family, we also know that she needs something special and just for her. Margot’s special place is Jill’s House Windy City Camp!”

“We were so happy to learn about Jill’s House around 4 years ago. A friend of ours shared that she was working at the Windy City Camp. I had no idea this camp existed! We connected with the camp staff and immediately enrolled her.”

“Now that Margot has been going to camp for several years, she has developed some favorite things about camp. For starters, Margot considers herself a foodie and says the food is really good! She also loves having a camp buddy. But hands down, her most favorite thing about camp is the Talent Show. Margot will carefully prepare for the Talent Show. She plans what she will do and what props she will bring. She will sometimes dance or sing along to a favorite song.

“Camp has been so great for Margot! She knows a few of the girls who attend camp regularly, and she loves being able to spend time with other kids who have different special needs than herself. In our family with an older brother and a younger brother, camp is Margot’s special place where she gets her special attention. While Margot is at camp, we spend one on one time with our other kids. We are relaxed because we know that Margot is cared for. The nurses really show love and care for Margot, and that means so much to us. When we pick up Margot from camp, she chatters about her camp experiences for the first few minutes of the 90-minute car ride home. She will sing her favorite camp song, “Father’s House” and share about the talent show. But camp is also exhausting! It never takes long before she is fast asleep.”

“We are so grateful for Jill’s House and the Windy City Camp and providing Margot a place to be herself and feel special.”

Thank you for making stories like Margot’s possible.