Tom's stepmom, Ann, was very gracious and asked both Tom and his sister, Robin, to choose a charity for gifts (in lieu of flowers) in memory of Tom's dad. Of course, we chose an organization that works on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome. It was obvious which one we would choose -- I was in the middle of blogging about this non-profit when I got the call about Ken's passing.
When Lucas was about 1 year old, I stumbled upon a group called the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation. They had a most radical and ambitious idea: finding treatments to improve cognition -- including learning, memory and speech -- for individuals with Down syndrome.
Since it was founded by parents of kids with DS less than 10 years ago, the DSRTF has become the leading private funder of some of the most cutting-edge research in Down syndrome cognition research. It is incredibly meaningful to have those who loved Ken and his family help support an organization that could have a direct impact on his grandson's life.
For as many wonderful, nobel organizations that exist in the US, words cannot describe what it means to us to be tied in such a personal way to an organization that could help fund a discovery that could so profoundly affect our son's quality of life.
Thank you, Ann, and thank you, Dad, and all who give in his memory, for this gift.