Family gives back to Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association through annual walk


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — No matter where she goes, 3-year-old Jaycee Van Kooten is not afraid to bring out her “Happy Feet” and dance.

“She’s our whole world and she makes sure we know it,” Kelli Van Kooten, Jaycee’s mom, said.

Her is family always near, cheering on each step Jaycee takes.

“She’s the best thing to ever happen to us and brings joy to people,” Jason Van Kooten, Jaycee’s dad, said.

Like other families, life has been a bumpy road for Jaycee’s family, but that’s not stopping Jaycee from being in the driver’s seat of her own life.

“We didn’t know she had Down syndrome until she was born,” Kelli said. “She’s taught us to give everyone grace and be accepting of everyone no matter what.”

Throughout Jaycee’s journey, her family’s learned to give back to organizations that have helped them along the way, like the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association.

The association has helped fund therapy session for Jaycee and connect the family with important resources, among other things.

“We were never aware this was available to families, and having the association reach out was a big blessing,” Jason said.

They are now asking for support in the cause by participating in a walk. The 2019 Colorado Springs DSA Down Syndrome Walk will take place this Saturday at the Norris Penrose Event Center.

It’s a chance to get to know what it’s like to walk in Jaycee’s shoes and others just like her.

“I hope that people realize these kids and adults have no limitations to and they can do anything they want,” Kelli said.

>> Tap here for more information and to register.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local Stories

More Local