The Daily Northwestern

LTE: GiGi’s Playhouse Thanks Dance Marathon

Nancy Gianni

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Dear NUDM Dancers,

It is so cathartic to reach out to the generation I was most afraid of just 13 years ago when my daughter, GiGi was born with Down syndrome. I feared more than anything the way people would treat her and the pain it would cause our family. GiGi’s diagnosis makes her an instant victim, but it also makes her and her friends a catalyst for change.

That’s where you come in, Northwestern. On behalf of the GiGi’s Playhouse community, I want to express my gratitude for all you’ve done this past year to raise funds and awareness for individuals with Down syndrome. How ironic it is that the people I most feared would judge and exclude GiGi are now her heroes.

There are more than 400,000 people in the U.S. living with Down syndrome. And you are dancing to help provide them with the life-changing programs they need to live, succeed and grow! From speech therapy, literacy and math skills to therapeutic fitness and career skills, YOU are making it happen. You are helping to build dedicated places for communities to learn about the value of acceptance and how they can be a part of changing the world.

I cannot tell you what your commitment means to me. We can never thank you enough for believing in us. Dance because you CAN, dance because others can’t, dance because you recognize the need for a better, more accepting world, dance because you are leaders and not followers, dance to inspire and dance like nobody’s watching!

We will be right there next to you, dancing and cheering you on every step of the way in just a few short days on March 3!

With love, gratitude and pure acceptance,
Nancy Gianni
GiGi’s Playhouse CEO and GiGi’s Mom