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New Mothers Luncheon – Southern California
May 23, 2015
On Saturday, May 23rd, the Pujols Family Foundation hosted the first annual New Mothers luncheon at Javier’s Cantina in Newport Beach. With 40 moms in attendance, it was wonderful to have an opportunity for those who share a common bond of having a child with Down syndrome. There were two self advocate teens speakers; Teresa Burnett and Brandon Gruber who spoke of their rich and fulfilling lives and Deidre Pujols who inspired and gave each of these mother’s hope and inspiration. This special event gave these new moms a day off and chance to be rejuvenated with food and fellowship. Nothing is better than to know we are on similar paths from the moment we sat down.
As a mom of a 19 year old, I remember the moment Brandon was diagnosed. The doctor came into the room to give us the news that she was 99.9% certain he had Down syndrome. She said we would have to wait two weeks, and the internet was just coming on the scene, so I couldn’t began my research project. I remember that night in the hospital, I asked to meet a parent who had an adult child that was flourishing. I wanted to see potential instead of what was floating around in my head of the stereotypes.
We flew up last minute from Santa Cruz, CA to allow Brandon come and show the possibilities, just like my mentor mom did for me. “It was so fun to meet new moms of babies under the age of three”, says Brandon Gruber. “I want to help them, like my parents helped me”. Brandon came as one of two self advocate speakers. One of his tips he gave moms was to make sure the took time for themselves; take a bath, get a massage, walk and treat themselves to Starbucks. The saying goes, “If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy”. That holds true with me.
Each participant were treated to take home a bag full of goodies including a Pujols apron, cookware and specialty cookbook individualized with each of their child’s picture tag on it. It was a beautiful and relaxing day off. Thank you Pujols Family Foundation!
Teresa Gruber, Santa Cruz CA
Thank you Javier’s Cantina (Newport Beach), Glo White florist (Huntington Beach), Peoples Magazine, and all of our awesome Volunteers