Congratulations and welcome to the family! Giovanni's 21 gifts is a 501 (c) Non-Profit Organization founded by Crystal and Antonio Mauro. Our mission is to raise awareness for expecting and existing families who have a child with Down syndrome. The journey for us started twenty weeks into pregnancy when we learned of the news that would change our lives forever. The phone rang one evening and it was the doctors confirming Giovanni would be born with Trisomy 21/Down syndrome. This was a very emotional time for us and for three straight days we felt alone and empty. We didn't know where we should go from here, wondered how are we were going to do this alone, and why us? From what we had seen on the ultra sound with regard to high risk markers we were expecting the call, but we were not anymore prepared to receive it. We spent the following weeks researching and studying Down syndrome, focused on what we thought we should have focused on, spending a lot of time reading medical studies and what could go wrong, and how our road ahead was going to be spent in and out of hospitals. We learned how one little tiny extra chromosome could make such a difference.
We share this with you because we want you to know we made a mistake, probably a common mistake, but hopefully our story will prevent you from making the same one. We focused on the negative only because we didn’t know any better, and after a quick glance back over our shoulder, we should of really been spending our time on the countless other stories from parents who had a child with Down syndrome. Over time we found ourselves addicted to the good news stories, the support groups, multiple facebook pages, all the while realizing that we are about to be given a gift. Our outlook on the situation changed immediately after reading how truly amazing these kids are and all they can accomplish, it all made us realize that everything is going to be ok. The support from other parents was phenomenal; I cannot begin to explain how close this extra chromosome family is. We had visits from families to our home and we were invited to theirs, and all they wanted to do was help. We realized quickly that our children are just like you and I, but they are actually stronger, more patient, better mannered and a LOT more love resides in their bodies, something you will learn quickly. We are telling you this now because these are the stories you should be reading. Our son has forever changed our lives and we would not have it any other way. Giovanni has opened our eyes to a new world, a world we had never seen before and probably never would have. Will there be challenging times, of course, but trust us, the love these children will bring to your home will make every step worth it. For now, give your child a hug, kiss and love them and let the doctors worry about the rest.
Giovanni's 21 Gifts was started as our way of giving back to a community of people that gave us hope, support and friendship. They ensured we never felt like we were alone, and we want to do the same for you. We believe we are able to understand and address the needs of people with Down syndrome and their families in a unique way. We want to bring families together in order to raise awareness and most of all show the world that our children have a place in today’s society. Our goal through generous donations is to deliver gift baskets filled with LOVE and 21 of Giovanni's favorite gifts to local hospitals any time a child with Down syndrome is born. We want expecting families who have received their amazing news to know that they are not going to walk this walk alone. We were blessed with an amazing support group and want others to know where to find us for support and to let them know what resources are available to them. Remember, FRIENDS DONT LET FRIENDS COUNT CHROMOSOMES!
Need someone to talk to? E-mail or contact us on facbook. We understand and are here to help.