My name is Ryan Mattson. I am a fresh member of the DSAW Central Wisconsin Board and this is my AMA… oop, sorry wrong website, this is my Meet a DSAW Leader. My wife and I live in the Wausau area along with my step daughter Halena. On July 2, 2016 my wife and I had our first baby together, her name is Emma. I knew immediately that she had Down syndrome and upon questioning the nurse and Doctor, we were met with a refusal to acknowledge. Like many, we had some difficult times over the weeks to follow between being passed around to Pediatricians, trying to learning about this new world we’d stumbled into, waiting for official test results (they said I’m sorry), and wondering if Emma had any health issues. That said, Emma came away clear of the initial major health issues and is a joy and a wonder.
The DSAW Central WI Chapter was just being formed when Emma came along and we’re grateful to have been able to meet so many others with similar experiences in the local area. My wife and I have both recently transitioned from full-time corporate world jobs to each running our own businesses. This has allotted us some extra personal time to spend with the kids, attend events, and now also put some time into this chapter of DSAW.
In my personal life, I am constantly on the go and my list of projects seems to grow faster than it gets shorter. I like physical labor and I dabble in all trade skills, sometimes more out of necessity than enjoyment. When I have some spare time I like to read, play video games, collect memorable toys from my youth, and fiddle with photography. As a family we spend a lot of time outside, often bicycling/walking/running, eating ice cream (I’m working on obtaining my Briq’s 100lb club membership), and of course Emma also keeps us on the go.