Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Meet Our Coordinator - Loretta CookCategory: Great Wolf Lodge meet ups, Kick Off to World Down syndrome Day
We are introducing our Great Wolf Meet Up coordinators. We would like you to meet the coordinator for the Grapevine, TX meet up!
Introducing Loretta Cook!
Our Journey: My name is Loretta Cook and I am the mother of two handsome sons and one beautiful daughter. I am known as Memaw to 7 amazing grandchildren, one is a little girl named Kaitlyn. She was born with a little extra something. She is my daughter Stacy's only child. Kaitlyn was born when Stacy was 24. Kaitlyn is now 5.
We found out when Stacy was 22 weeks that Kaitlyn had a heart defect. Stacy chose to have the amino for several reasons. One is because we knew nothing about Down syndrome, this way we could educate ourselves as much as possible, making it easier to care for Kaitlyn. Stacy wanted to know for sure so that she and her family could come to terms with it, go through the emotions, so we all could move on and enjoy the rest of her pregnancy. By the time Kaitlyn was born we were very happy and excited to meet her. During this time, our family became stronger and closer.
Kaitlyn has helped to make me a different person than I was 5 years ago. I look back now and the things that I thought were so important are not even thought of anymore. Kaitlyn has brought new meaning to my life, I stop to smell the flowers more often, I notice so many more things around me, and I make the most of the time I have with my grandchildren. Kaitlyn has taught me all of this and she shows me daily that God gave me this life to enjoy to its fullest. She has slowed me down in this fast pace world and shown me that the little things mean the most. Because of her I am a better person.
Why the meet up is important: This is important to us because we want to be a part of showing the world that it is ok to be different. We want to meet as many families as possible on our journey and make life time friends for us and for Kaitlyn. We hope that the day will come our children will always feel included and will be a big part of the community. I also think the bigger we are in number the more we are heard, which will enable us to start making changes. This meet up is a wonderful start to just that.
What I want to happen: I want families to relax and have the time of their lives! I want them to meet new families and watch their children play and enjoy themselves. I would like for them to bring away from this new friends and also make beautiful memories. We have met many new friends in the last 5 years and we have come to think of them as family. The Down syndrome community has a bond like no one else. Together we will make a difference!
How others can help promote: By sharing with everyone you know. From friends, family, and acquaintances, talk about it to everyone you see. For example, I was in Taco Cabana two nights ago. I noticed a family sitting down to dinner with their little boy who had Down syndrome. I walked right up to them and invited them to the event. They also gave me some information about a t-ball team that would be perfect for Kaitlyn, something that I wasn’t aware of. I made a new friend and they will be at the meet up! If you have connections to media, business, and organizations, please than get them involved as well.