The story of Jinger Jo is an emotional one. The roller coaster that we are still aboard has one consistent theme: disbelief.

The first emotion that I felt for Jinger Jo was overwhelming joy. When the doctor confirmed that we were about to have a baby girl, I couldn't hold back the tears. I was in disbelief! God was giving me a true best friend for life, just like my mother and I.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, Mother's Day, when Jin made her debut. We were so proud to be finally holding our new baby girl, when an unfamiliar pediatrician walked in. The next emotion was the one I've tried to forget. He began the conversation in his broken English accent by asking my husband and I if we noticed anything 'different" about our abby. We were speechless, trying to process what he meant. With no response he made a second attempt. His next question was very hard to grasp, partially from the language barrier, but mainly  because the few words I did understand, I didn't want to hear.

Every waking moment for what seemed like the next year I thought about Down Syndrome and what effect it would have on our future. Those thoughts became fewer and further apart and eventually the words "Down Syndrome" that I feared became a part of my life. A life I would not have chosen for myself but I'm so thankful God chose it for me!

At 18 months Jinger was diagnosed with cancer. The story of her battle could be a novel, but the most important parts for people who love someone with Down Syndrome are this:

  • Children with Down Syndrome have a higher chance of facing leukemia
  • Children with Down Syndrome have an incredibly higher chance at defeating leukemia. And by higher I mean get on your knees and say,"Thank you Lord for this extra chromosome!"

After over 700 hours of chemotherapy and 8 months inpatient, Jinger Jo won. She did more than win the fight with cancer though. She blessed me and many others with a new improved outlook on life.

I was in disbelief looking at that sonogram screen of my own baby girl, in disbelief being told my baby girl has Down Syndrome, in disbelief that my baby girl had cancer, now I'm still in disbelief. I can't believe how blessed I am to be given my unbelievable dream girl, Jinger Jo.

Jody and Wendy Grengross

"My Unbelievable Dream Girl"

Jinger Jo Grengross 

Personal Stories