The Baskets de l’Espoir de Bretagne offer support, congratulations to families of babies with Down’s syndrome

LAKE GROVE, New York – Parents of newborn babies are usually overjoyed, but that’s not the experience Susan Schiavone had in 1989, when she gave birth to her daughter, Brittany.

Brittany has been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and doctors, friends and even family have repeatedly said “I’m sorry” rather than congratulations.

Brittany is now 32 years old and has partnered with her mother to change that societal attitude which they believe is still prevalent today.

They created Brittany’s baskets of hope, a Long Island-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families who are expecting or have just welcomed a baby with Down syndrome.

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“When most of what they hear is I’m sorry, we want to turn that into congratulations. We want to show that there is a bright future for their babies and their families,” said Susan.

Families receive a basket full of brochures, makeup, socks, baby books and even a onesie that says “really perfect”.

Since the delivery of their first basket of hope in October 2016, Brittany and Susan have now sent 1,350 baskets to families in all 50 states.

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Brittany especially enjoys personally delivering the baskets to neighboring families, serving as a role model for babies and their new parents.

“As we say in the Down syndrome community, we’re the lucky few, and that’s absolutely true,” said Susan. “These children we have are the gift we never knew we needed.”

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