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A Family adapts to new challenges of a child with Down SyndromeSubmitted: 11/13/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer

A Family adapts to new challenges of a child with Down Syndrome
GLEASON - We all want perfect, healthy, and happy babies but sometimes things don't go as perfectly as planned. One Gleason woman and her family learned how to accept this.

"The second I looked at the picture, I knew he had Down Syndrome," said Shannon Staskiewicz.

Shannon Staskiewicz couldn't lose that thought when she first saw her new baby boy.

"I was depressed, I was angry, I was grieving, you know, I expected to have this perfect little boy. And while he is perfect in his own way, it took a long time to make that connection. When I looked at him, all I saw was Down Syndrome, I didn't see Hunter," says Shannon.

She couldn't prepare for this. So she turned to other mothers online for help.

"I, you know, connected with a number of mom's on face book and they were so helpful. You know, just to say, that's normal, you know, it's normal to be sad, it's normal to be angry, but now you need to accept him for who he is," said Shannon.

But the family couldn't afford for the anger to last long. Hunter needed lots of care and attention.

"About twenty-five to forty percent of all Down Syndrome babies have some form of cardiac malformation," said Dr. Dennis McFadden, Shannon's OB/GYN.

Hunter had a hole in his heart that healed on its own. But he was born with breathing issues. His lungs aren't as strong as they should be.

"With Hunter, putting him in daycare doesn't work well. He doesn't have a very good immune system...Three days, he would be home sick," says Staskiewicz.

Shannon had to quit her job to take care of Hunter. It put extra stress on her family but she believes it was worth it. The only difference from her other children is that Hunter grows and learns at a slower rate.

"So it's just that longer extended timeline. Otherwise he's stubborn, he's sweet, he is, you know, can get into things that he's not supposed to. We're just getting ready to install a baby gate because now with him being more mobile, he's into everything," stated Shannon.

"We're not going to let the fact that he has Down Syndrome hold him down, or let anything get in his way because he can do everything anybody else can do," says Shannon.

Shannon has the same dreams and goals for Hunter as her other two children. But the road will undoubtedly be longer and tougher.

"I think it's very important to, have as much warning as you can from the patient standpoint. This can be a very shocking experience that can really be emotionally challenging at the time of birth," says Dr. McFadden.

"It's okay to, you know, be angry and he is worth it. He is absolutely, 100 percent worth every second," said Shannon.

If you want to learn more about Shannon's story, check out the Hello, Hunter Facebook page.

Related Weblinks:
Hello, Hunter - The Facebook Page

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/25/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll bring you details about an accident involving two semi-trucks this morning on Highway 29 in Marathon County that left one driver dead and the other driver in the hospital.

We'll tell you what happened today in the preliminary hearing for a Rhinelander woman who is charged with reckless homicide of her 20-month-old stepson.

And the Hodag Farmers' Market will be in a slightly different space when it opens for the season this weekend. We'll tell you where it moved to and why.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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The Aspirus MedEvac helicopter landed on Wausau East High School's football field while students watched on Thursday.

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Choosing a career path after high school can seem challenging.

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MERRILL - Many of us know that exciting feeling when you knock down all the bowling pins and make a strike.

One bowling alley in Merrill is trying to take the excitement up a notch with a new scoring system.

Chances are you've never seen a scoring system like the one at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill.

Owner Mark Bares decided to install the "SYNC" system at his bowling alley with the help of his seven kids.

"My kids liked how easy and simple this system is. Plus they liked the angry birds," says Bares. 

SYNC scoring is pretty similar to using a smart phone.

Each lane has a screen that you tap to choose what kind of game you want.

Some bowling games are geared towards kids, but of course there's the classic ten-frame, too.

Les& Jim's Lincoln Lanes is the second bowling alley in Wisconsin to install this system.

Bringing their customers the newest bowling technology is nothing new for this family business.

It all started with Mark's grandpa, Les, about 50 years ago at another bowling alley near Sheboygan. 

"They actually had the first automatic scoring system ever… and that was back in the 60's," says Bares.

Today's scoring system is just as simple easy as back then.

People who have been bowling at Les& Jim's for years handled the transition just fine. 

"They didn't want to touch it at first, but after you just walk them through, halfway through, they are already pressing buttons," says Bares. 

SYNC scoring also lets you put in your email address, so you can track how well you bowl after every game. 


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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman will face another day in court. Ellen Tran is charged with Second Degree Reckless Homicide.
 Her step- son Avery Edwards died after Tran gave him a shower back in April. 

People from the Tri- County Council and Bikers Against Child Abuse were in the court room on Thursday.
 wearing pins and buttons to support Edwards. 

The defense tried to argue that the state didn't have enough evidence to prove probable cause to charge Tran in her step son's death. 

Edwards was 20 months old when his step mom Ellen Tran was giving him a shower on April 14.

 In the criminal complaint Tran said during the shower Edwards fell, but she said she could not remember how he fell or what he hit. 

The Fond du Lac medical examiner later found that Edward's death was caused by blunt force trauma.

 Tran's attorney Amy Scholtz argued there wasn't evidence that Tran caused the injury that led to Edward's death. 

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Johnson started working for the city five years ago.  She and her husband moved here from Rockford, Illinois.  Johnson served under four city administrators over that time, including Blaine Oborn, Phil Parkinson, Kristina Aschenbrenner, and Keith Kost.

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The market shifted to the space where the ice rink used to be at Pioneer Park.  Vendors used to set up along the park's driveway.

Market manager Steve Richardson wanted to make the move for the last few years, then got his chance when the city tore the old rink down in 2016.

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CHETEK, WI - Sheriff's officials in northwestern Wisconsin have identified the teens involved in a fatal plane crash.

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