Karen and her husband, Chuck, have lived in West Chester for 35 years. They have two children, Jennifer (19) and Fred (28), who has Down syndrome and Autism. Karen has been employed at Chester County Hospital for 27 years and Chuck works in a local furniture installation company, and is also an artist (painter).
Their son, Fred, participates in many recreational activities in his community, such as Challenger baseball, acting in the theater groups CAST and TDU, dances at The ARC, church, and a weekly adapted fitness program at West Chester University. Fred also works with a fitness trainer each week at the YMCA. Fred is currently employed part-time at Giant, Mitch’s Gym, and volunteers at Chester County Hospital each week. They are fortunate that Fred is in a program that supports young adults with Autism in their community. Fred receives transportation support as well as job and community support when needed. He has a life that is independent of his family, and he is an integral, contributing member of the community. Fred’s greatest loves are his sister, Jennifer, and Camp PALS, an away camp for individuals with Down syndrome. Jennifer also loves Camp PALS because, as a counselor, she has the opportunity to “be with Fred and see him doing what he loves most”. Jen is currently a student at West Chester University and is studying Public Health.
As a family, they love participating in the yearly Buddy Walk, where they visit with old and new friends to collectively raise money to promote awareness of Down syndrome, as well as provide financial support to members and various community programs.