Kerry grew up in Paducah, Kentucky where he first met Karen, his wife. They were high school sweethearts who enjoyed each other’s company and often refer to one another as being best friends. They have three daughters, the youngest of which happens to have Down syndrome.
Kerry recently released his debut book, Prism, Seeing the World Through the Hearts of People with Special Needs. The book is Kerry’s unique perspectives as a father raising a child with Down syndrome. It is intended to be educational, entertaining and inspirational through his sharing of insights, short stories and guest narratives. It is available through our website here and at www.Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, as well as other retail bookstores in hardback, soft back and e-book.
Kerry attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale on a baseball scholarship, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He furthered his education at The New York Institute of Technology, where he earned his MBA with distinction. Kerry often speaks to organizations, sharing unique and inspirational insights on life, family and his model for success. He resides with his family in Lexington, Kentucky.
Karen grew up in Paducah, Kentucky in a small catholic community called St. John’s. She is the wife of Kerry and the mother of their three daughters. She comes from a large extended rural family and cherishes her family traditions of Sunday meals, hayrides, and cookouts. She helped establish the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky, where she currently sits on the advisory board. She is past president of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky and currently sits as one of their board members. She is also past president of The Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky and former Buddy Walk chairman. Karen received her bachelor’s degree from Murray State University in Business Administration, Tri Sigma Sorority. Karen is a gifted public speaker where she often shares her inspirational story of raising a daughter with Down syndrome.
Kala is the oldest daughter of Kerry and Karen. She is pursuing her international business degree and a minor in Spanish from the University of Kentucky. She carries a 3.3 GPA and is an honored Dean’s list recipient. She was 1st runner up and Miss Congeniality, Miss Teen Kentucky 2009, 3rd runner up, Miss Teen Kentucky 2010, and 3rd runner up and Miss Photogenic, Miss Kentucky 2012.
Kala recently completed an international business internship in Barcelona Spain where she gained valuable experience in event planning. Her professional goal is to continue working in sales or marketing with the ability to travel both nationally and abroad.
She is very aware of her position as a role model for her younger sisters. She enjoys fitness and adhering to a healthy lifestyle. She currently sits on the board for The Prism Project and often speaks to youth groups and civic organizations about the various lessons learned from having a sibling with Down Syndrome.
Kelsey is the middle daughter of Kerry and Karen. She is pursuing her Kinesiology degree from the University of Kentucky, where she plans to enter Physical Therapy School to become a pediatric physical therapist. She’s made the Dean’s list every semester and currently maintains a 3.6 overall GPA.
Kelsey is a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, where she is Vice President of Recruitment. She enjoys staying fit in her spare time as she competes with her father as a triathlete.
Kelsey also sits on the board for The Prism Project and she, too, often speaks to youth groups and civic organizations about the importance of seeing others for their abilities, not their disabilities.
Kate is the youngest daughter of Kerry and Karen. She is currently in middle school at Sts. Peter and Paul Regional Catholic School in Lexington, where she is the first student with a diagnosed intellectual disability to attend there. The experience has been rewarding and the successes many. Kate loves the fine arts where she recently performed in her first school play. She takes dance, piano and is learning to play the guitar. Bowling has become a favorite sport where she just completed her first season on the high school bowling team of Lexington Catholic High School. Kate also speaks to civic organizations and youth groups on what it is like to have Down syndrome.