Julianna steps onto the makeshift stage at Our Lady of Lourdes and belts out her rendition of the song “Fireworks” from one of her favorite singers, Katy Perry. She receives a standing ovation from the crowd for her performance.
Julianna is no stranger to the stage as this is her family’s fifth annual concert which raises money for individuals with Down syndrome. This year’s performance raised over $10,000 for an organization based out of Kansas City, Down Syndrome Innovations (DSI). Kate, Julianna’s mom, is thrilled with the support but knows there is still a long road ahead.
“The concert is important because it raises money, but that’s almost secondary,” said Kate. “The first step in all of this is visibility. We need people to understand that the disability community is here and we want our kids and family members to be visible. Until they are visible, they can’t be integrated and included.”
Julianna entered ninth grade this year and attends Hickman High School. She loves to sing, dance and be involved in extracurricular activities at school. This year, she joined the Color Guard and performed in the MU Homecoming parade.
Her Support Coordinator Tory Sights enjoys seeing how she has grown over the years as well as the impact she and her family have in our community.
Tory said, “Her family is a fantastic support. A lot of her progress is because of that support. They are great with community networking and raising awareness. They are a joy to work with!”
Julianna has received services from BCFR including orthotics and personal supplies, and enjoys time at Sunny Oak for therapeutic horseback riding. Tory helped access additional funding to add a ring doorbell to the family home this year. Julianna no longer needs to have someone home to unlock the door for her after school.
“She can ring Dad and talk to him every day when she gets home,” said Kate. “He checks and makes sure she’s getting into the house safely and intervenes if necessary.”
The Basi family is grateful for the support of Tory and Boone County Family Resources over the years.
“None of us really know what the resources are and we don’t have time to chase down everything ourselves,” said Kate. “Having somebody in our corner to figure out what is available and what you need is important. We live in a great community with lots of resources but without somebody who can help you access them, it doesn’t do you much good. BCFR as a clearinghouse and as a facilitator is providing a huge service that is very much needed.”
BCFR as a clearinghouse and as a facilitator is providing a huge service that is very much needed.