Posted at: 02/09/2013 1:54 PM
Updated at: 02/10/2013 10:00 AM
By: Katherine Johnson
Nancy Gianni's daughter, GiGi, was born with Down Syndrome.
"We were so bombarded with negatives when she was born and no one truly saw the potential," she said. "Even the medical community didn't give me a lot of positives."
So Gianni founded GiGi's Playhouse, a resource center specifically designed for children just like her daughter. This weekend, they opened their 13th location in St. Louis Park.
GiGi's Playhouse offers therapeutic learning and development tools to build self esteem both for people with down syndrome and their families.
"He's a kid, just like any other kid," said parent John Schwartz of his son, Jackson. "He's happy, he's sad, he has good moments, he has bad moments. And he likes being around people and hanging out and having a good time."
"The day you have a child with down syndrome they tell you every possible thing that could happen and they know nothing about what her life is going to be," said Gianni.
Now GiGi's life is full of learning, interaction and lots of costumes.
After all, dreaming big is what it's all about.