November 2, 2012

The house that Alex built

All of us have those life defining moments that change the course of our journeys. They become the bricks of our homes, the supporting structure of how we interact in the world.

When I think back on the early construction phases, I remember the day I learned to ride my bicycle, my first kiss (it was yucky) and hundreds of other childhood memories. I went to college, traveled and worked in corporate America. All these building blocks reinforced the structure of my home and made it stronger. Getting married changed the direction of my house and the view, as did the birth of all three of my kids. But the mortar and glue that hold my home together is the experience of having a daughter with special needs.

Alex is not an angel brought here to change the world, and she is not down syndrome. Alex is a person…plain and simple…. just like her peers. Alex does not deserve to be discriminated against in employment, housing, education or anything else she chooses for her life. She should never be excluded from community events, under estimated and over looked….and having seen this happen to Alex and countless others with disabilities paid for the roof of my house.

My house is an honest home, the rooms are fair-minded and the walls non-discriminatory. In my house all visitors are treated equally and everyone has choice. No one decides what is “right” for someone else, and segregation has been thrown in the fire.

To build my house I had a lot of training, and this is the electricity that keeps the home lit. Our home is fueled by passion, kept clean by advocacy, but still changing and evolving.

Today this is the house Alex taught me to build, and someday we may be able to retire in a stronger, self-sustaining home. Please read the following article published in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on November 1, 2012:


  1. That article is just great! Well reported, inspirational!!!! Thanks so much for all you do!

  2. Gary, that's phenomenal!! What a great heart you have to change the way people view those who have special needs. I'm impressed!


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