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Finding care and connections from hundreds of miles away

Will owns a small business, Will’s Wares. Click on the photo to visit his website.

Recently, Advocate Medical Group’s Adult Down Syndrome Center launched a $5.5 million fundraising campaign: At the Center of it all. As part of our campaign, we’re sharing stories of patients who directly benefit from the generosity of donors like you. This is Will’s story as told by his mother, Maggie.

My son, Will, had been plodding along like the rest of us with the pandemic lockdown last year. He missed his work, the gym, going into the community and his support staff, but we managed by filling his days with his new business, walks and lots of games! The thing he missed the most though was socialization with his friends and family. I could see the loneliness creeping in.

Last July, a friend forwarded me a flyer for the Adult Down Syndrome Center (ADSC). I called immediately to see if this was something that Will could be involved with. I assumed it was in New Jersey as that’s where we are from but came to learn it was located in Illinois. When Katie Frank explained what the ADSC offered and that they had virtual offerings that Will could join, I was delighted. Will was thrilled to learn this new thing called Zoom!

Will, who’s 25, has loved every moment of his time with his new friends over the last several months. He participated in the Summer Social Skills Series, Online Socials, Dating 101 and Managing Emotions. He counts the minutes until he can log onto his Zoom meetings. It was so important to have a schedule that Will could look forward to on a weekly basis. The ADSC definitely filled that missing void. From a mom’s perspective, I was so appreciative to see my son thriving in a fun and therapeutic learning environment with Laura Chicoine and Katie Frank.

Unfortunately, New Jersey doesn’t offer any programs specifically for adults with Down syndrome, so we are extremely fortunate to be involved with the ADSC. I love the webinars and the variety of articles posted on Facebook. They’ve touched on so many important topics specific to Down syndrome. We are filled with gratitude that we stumbled upon the ADSC and that Will was embraced into their family. We see a road trip in our future when it’s safe to travel to meet our new friends in Illinois!

Since 1992, the Adult Down Syndrome Center has provided a full range of specialized health care services for 6,000 adolescents and adults with Down syndrome. Many of its programs and services are made possible through philanthropy.

To support patients like Will and their families, please consider making a gift today. To learn more about our new fundraising campaign, At the Center of it all, visit us online.