We first heard about Jill’s House Weekend Adventures Camp in 2017 when our daughter Kate, was 8 years old. Kate is now 13 years old, and she still enjoys attending camp!
We did not know Kate was going to have Down syndrome when she was born. I was excited about having a second child and we decided not to undergo any testing, so when she was born, that is when we found out. She was born 3 weeks early and was also born with Duodenal Atresia, which means the first part of her small intestines was blocked. She immediately had surgery and wasn’t discharged for about 3 weeks.
When Kate was about 6 weeks old, we began early intervention. There was one other family attending with us, and our families have been close ever since. Those first weeks were such a blur, but we are so grateful for the friendships that began during that time.
Kate attends school in a general classroom and has a close group of friends. She loves her family and loves when we are together, but she’s a typical 13 year old and enjoys her own space too. She enjoys dancing, singing, and being the center of attention. When Kate is in the room there is always music and dancing and noise. She is full of life!
Kate and her brother are close. I think her brother enjoys the quiet when Kate is at camp, but we all look forward to our family time.
Our family is very active! Kate participates in gymnastics and swimming through Special Olympics Washington, and she is on the local cheerleading team. She also plays soccer and is part of drama at her school. Her older brother also plays soccer so together as a family we are always moving! We enjoy spending a lot of time outside together, too. When we aren’t running to our kids’ activities, we are in the front yard, playing soccer, jumping on the trampoline, or playing baseball. We are always playing together.
When Kate is away at Jill’s House Puget Sound camp, we can relax knowing that she is safe and having a great time. She loves participating in the talent show, and roasting marshmallows. While she is having a blast at camp, our son has an opportunity to be the center of our attention at home. We will watch his soccer games, or just ask him what he wants to do with us. Enjoying a date night and being together is also really nice!
We are so grateful for Jill’s House and for helping our daughter experience all that camp has to offer. It’s unique for kids like Kate to be able to attend an overnight camp, and because of Jill’s House, she can!