Hello! My name is Jennifer Kosak and I have recently joined the DSAW-Green Bay Advisory Board. My husband, Matt and I are blessed with two amazing daughters, Isabelle (8) and Olivia (2). We live in Suamico and have been married almost 14 years. I work as a Project Manager at Zymo Interactive. I love my job because I get to help create innovative and impactful solutions every day. When I'm not working you can find me spending time with my family and friends, traveling, and organizing anything and everything. I love to plan and organize!
We received Olivia’s diagnosis after birth and it was not a great experience. The neonatologist who came in to deliver the news was anything but sensitive and basically told us we’d be lucky if Olivia got a job in fast food one day. Those first few days began as scary and overwhelming, along with the roller coaster of emotions and unanswered questions. It felt as though I was living someone else’s life and didn’t know how I was going to regain a sense of normalcy. We spent 28 days in the NICU with Olivia where we were connected with some remarkable doctors, nurses and members of the DSAW-Green Bay chapter who helped me to realize that Olivia was going to be whoever she wanted to be. One of the doctors told me Olivia was going to change the world and boy was he right. Fast forward 2 years and she has already changed mine.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve finally started to see how much this diagnosis has blessed us as a family. Olivia has taught me to live in the moment, celebrate what I once overlooked and enjoy the journey. Yes, this journey can sometimes still feel hard but it’s also indescribably beautiful. Parenting in general is overwhelming and scary but it’s also so exciting. It’s exciting to see how far Olivia has come in these last few years and even more exciting to think about where she’ll go in the future. She’s already gone from learning how to roll over, crawling, walking and now onto running. Yes, the progress can sometimes feel painfully slow but it’s in those moments that I’m reminded of the strength and determination that will allow her to change the world.
I’m truly grateful that Olivia connected me to a whole community that I didn’t even know existed. The love, supportive embrace, and acceptance that I’ve felt from this community is like no other. It’s been such a joy to stand with other parents and champion our kids together. It’s for that reason that I wanted to get involved. I want to provide that same love, support and acceptance to others in our community. I want the opportunity to tell new parents who are receiving their new diagnosis, “Congratulations” and that your child will do amazing things and change the lives of so many. I want to be an advocate for inclusion and acceptance for Olivia and others with Down syndrome. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and look forward to the future!