Reese was born on September 16, 2011 & surprised us with a diagnosis of Down syndrome along with a congenital heart defect. We spent much of her first year at Children’s Mercy Hospital rotating through a variety of specialties, including cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, gastroenterology, audiology, ophthalmology & endocrinology. CMH was like a second home to us. On April 25, 2012, Reese underwent open heart surgery that literally saved her life. We are forever indebted to the staff at Children’s Mercy & would like to give a little back to show our appreciation.
As a toddler, Reese received weekly PT, OT & speech therapy. She showed an early affinity for sign language & ASL was her primary mode of communication until her speech emerged. Although she now rarely signs, we will always hold sign language near & dear to our heart. Reese loves school & just graduated from first grade. In her spare time, she takes dance & gymnastics, films makeup “tutorials” and terrorizes her three sisters. Reese loves animals (she has three dogs, two cats & a revolving door of foster animals), so we decided to partner with the animal therapy program at CMH for this project.
Reese’s sister, Reagan, is the most artistically inclined person in our family, so she helped Reese with the designs. Reagan drew the majority of the images while Reese added the color & text. It was such a fun collaboration for the two.