Twelve years ago today, I was six months pregnant and I looked at my husband and said, “Do you think something could be wrong with our baby?” He looked at me with such question and said ”No, everything is fine I am sure.”

Fast forward three months later to July 8, 2006 – Kerstin Soell was born with a little something extra . Little did I know that extra something was pure heart and unconditional love. Having a child with Down syndrome changed my outlook on life, it changed the dynamics of our family. It is the reason I am here today. It is the reason I left a job after 17 years to become the ED of DSACO.  Because of her, I have an extended family through DSACO.  Not only has DSACO provided support for me and my family, they have also provided Kerstin with resources, molding her to become a self-advocate. This was not a path I chose, but was chosen for me. As I reflect on the past 12 years of our journey, the one thing that is always consistent is Faith. Faith in the process, faith in medical professionals, faith in my family and myself and faith in Him. Kerstin makes me want to be a better person and I hope someday I can be half the kind-hearted, loving, spirited and joyful person she is. DSACO is helping our families navigate through this journey so that their loved ones with Down syndrome can lead successful lives, doing whatever it is they love to do!  Kerstin has taught me one important lesson, and that is to follow my passion. Thank you for being accepting, respectful and inclusive of those with Down syndrome. Thank you for seeing the joy they bring to the world, making it a better place one extra chromosome at a time.


Written by Sarah Soell
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