Abby Adam, 12, of Lakewood is definitely someone special. Born with Down syndrome in 2001, Abby underwent open-heart surgery at 15 months and has been going nonstop ever since.
The daughter of Amy and Tim Adam, Abby has been an avid family member of the Lakewood YMCA since age 6 with her father and sister, Janie Adam. Currently, she participates in the Y's summer day camp program and after school program at Southwestern Elementary School where she shines with self-esteem and everyday smiles.
The YMCA friendships formed for Abby, especially with the YMCA staff and participants Mallory, Miles, Rachel and Maddie, is directly linked to Abby's outgoing nature and her sense of belonging.
When asked about her favorite thing to do at camp, Abby replied that it was the field trips to Waldameer Park and Chuck E. Cheese.
Her mom is a proud supporter of who Abby has become over the years.
"My daughter has matured significantly and has become very responsible largely due to her time at YMCA programs," Adam said. "The confidence and communication I see with the staff is great - I appreciate their willingness to engage Abby, make sure see is staying active and having fun and teaching her life values."
Ms. Adam also is thrilled with the various programs and services the Y has to offer for the entire family in a safe environment.
"I am certain that Abby is in good hands when she comes to the Y," Adam said. "The confidence, understanding and friendship with Abby are what I appreciate the most about the staff."
It doesn't end there though.
Abby is always willing to lend a hand when needed. At the YMCA after-school program, she helps showing the younger kids how to use computers, assists with snack time and student pick up and program preparation.
"We've seen Abby grow so much and always willing to try new things," said Brooke Guichard, after-school care director. "She is inspirational to the Y staff and the kids in our program - she gives hugs to everyone and is so happy every time she arrives."
Abby has participated in group tennis lessons at the Lakewood YMCA and plans to get involved with karate or gymnastics there in the fall when she will be in sixth grade. She is also a member of her school's chorus and competes in the Special Olympics golf event.
The next time you see Abby around town, probably riding her new Mobo mobility bike specifically designed for added balance and easier riding, say "hi" and tell her to keep up the good work.