Niagara-on-the-Lake mom grateful for children’s center support
Patrick Janzen’s parents knew he had Down syndrome before he was born.
When her mother Jillian was four months pregnant, they were diagnosed through prenatal tests.
Down syndrome is a condition in which a baby is born with an extra 21st chromosome that can lead to delays in mental and physical development.
“When they give you a diagnosis of Down syndrome…you get a follow-up from a genetic counselor, and they go over more risks, the medical stuff that’s very common with Down syndrome like heart defects,” said she declared. “They don’t really talk about what happens afterwards, it’s more just the pregnancy.”
The Niagara-on-the-Lake mum started reaching out to others who had children with Down syndrome to ask for advice and see what resources were available.
Shortly after the birth of Patrick, or “Paddy” as his parents call him, on February 26, 2021, they were referred to the Niagara Children’s Center in St. Catharines.
While Jillian said Paddy’s early diagnosis has helped prepare her for what lies ahead, it’s her team at the children’s center who are supporting her growth.
“The infant program that Paddy is a part of really helps us as a family to have direction and know the next steps and goals for Paddy and his development,” Jillian said. “Working with the occupational therapist, we are able to access support in programming that will help them develop their ability to achieve important motor milestones, such as lifting their head, crawling, rolling, grasping, s’ power and eventually walk, talk and communicate.” .”
Now just over a year old, Paddy is on the right track, Jillian said.
This year, he is one of 12 ambassadors for the center’s Help Kids Shine campaign, which aims to raise $250,000 in May to support the services.
“Every dollar pledged by our community to support our children and families is tripled,” said center CEO Oksana Fisher. “Monthly giving is a strong and sustainable source of funding that allows us to plan ahead and reduce the admin time spent processing donations.”
To visit HelpYoungChildren.ca to learn more about this year’s Ambassadors and to see how your donation can help give every child in Niagara the opportunity to reach their full potential.