Raising Money for Families in Need in Lycoming County

PLUNKETTS CREEK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Melissa boatman and her husband weren't expecting to have more children but at 35 she found herself pregnant with twins.

"I'm getting a little older so we knew that there were some possibilities for chromosomal things happening," said Boatman.

Three weeks after her daughters Meah and Anniston were born Boatman says her girls were diagnosed with down syndrome.

"It hit me pretty hard. For a couple of weeks, I cried straight and tried to avoid people. I was more caught up in the diagnosis when I first got it instead of them," said Boatman.

But that quickly changed and her daughters are now three years old.

"Things started to become more normal for us when we started to connect with other parents and you could see they were celebrating down syndrome," said Boatman.

Miranda Smith gave birth to her daughter Payton at the same hospital a few days after Boatman's daughters were born.

Smith's daughter has also been diagnosed with down syndrome.

"It's nice to have that support in place. It doesn't matter what it is they are there to listen. It's nice to know they are going through something similar," said Smith.

In hopes of reaching more families with children who have been diagnosed with down syndrome, Boatman recently started the nonprofit, Our Journey With Down Syndrome.

Saturday the group will hold its first fundraiser here at Pier 87 near Montoursville.

Anyone is welcome to stop by for cornhole for a cause where all the proceeds will go towards making gift baskets for new parents who have children with mental disabilities.

"It's really about education, raising awareness and providing support," said Boatman

With silent auction raffles and live music, Boatman says people are welcome to stop by all day Saturday here near Montoursville.

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