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10/3/23 blog post

Joy and Avery are BFFs!

We're celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month with besties Avery & Joy

avery and joy are best friendsAvery and Joy are BFFs – best friends forever! In fact, they’ve known each other their whole lives.

Avery’s mom, Rachel, knew her baby would be born with Down syndrome and attended a Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association Moms Night Out dinner. She happened to sit next to Jessica, mom of Joy. The two moms quickly bonded. Joy was a just a baby at the time, and when Avery was born, it was natural for the girls to become friends.

Fast forward to today and the girls, now 10 and 11, love getting together for playdates and parties, music and art therapy, and dressing up as doctors. They’ve even both participated in Special Olympic gymnastics together! Plus, both girls have represented Dayton Children’s by sharing their stories and experiences as patients.

avery and joy are best friends“I’m thankful that they have always had each other. There is nothing to explain when the girls are together, they just get each other,” says Jessica. Both girls have Down syndrome, wear glasses and hearing aids, and struggle with speech. But when they’re together – nothing can stop them.

Rachel couldn’t agree more. “It's special for Avery to have a friend who is her age and with a similar experience. "But the bigger joy may be mine because of the friendship I’ve developed with Jessica,” says Rachel. The two moms of special needs kids have been through a lot together, and always had a shoulder to lean on. “We’ve talked, laughed, and cried. We've been through so many ups and downs with our kids, and our love for our families has always been a connection.”

avery and joy are best friends“As a friend, I appreciate Rachel’s positivity, her great sense of humor and dependability,” says Jessica. “She is a true advocate on behalf of her children and others with special needs.”

These families are grateful for everyone who supports Dayton Children’s, ensuring Avery and Joy have had access to specialized pediatric care their entire lives, helped this beautiful friendship grow. We’re grateful for friends like you!

Thank you for being a “BFF” to kids and families at Dayton Children’s!