Meet Jake Hardy, a charismatic young man about to turn 21 years of age this coming October. Jake is the face of the Have a Heart for Down syndrome upcoming golf tournament “Sink One for Jake”, inspiring us to help provide him and his peers with employment, education and growth opportunities to live a full and fulfilling life.
When Jake was born two decades ago there was very little awareness and knowledge about Down syndrome. Joanne remembers this was a time when kids born with Down syndrome were often institutionalized and isolated from social interactions. Her and Jake’s father Randy had little support when they got the news from the Dr.:“it’s not good” he said, your little boy has Down syndrome. This diagnosis was met with much uncertainty and little hope for a prosperous life for their newborn son. Having two young daughters at home, Joanne and Randy took their little boy home, with bravery and faith for the future.
Almost 21 years later Jake has brought unparalleled joy to the family, with his excitement and zest for life coupled with his sensitive and empathetic nature. A journey that started with fear and uncertainty resulted in an unexpected blessing that brought the family closer together.
Getting involved with Down syndrome organizations such as the Halton Down syndrome Association (HDSA) provided the family with a blanket of support and a united community to share moments of joy and moments of hardship together. They formed life long bonds with amazing people forging forward on a similar journey together.
Today Jake is the life of the party! He is well-known and loved around his Oakville hometown community. No one can deny that he is a born “people-person”, always having fun and always smiling!
Jake is a HUGE fan of The King, the one and only, Elvis Presley, and you can bet he’s got the moves to prove it! His Mantra is “Yeah Baby”, which accompanies a “thumbs up” gesture, with persistent optimism and positivity wherever he goes. He loves the ladies and cannot get enough Coca-Cola to quench his thirst, which can also be said of his thirst for life.
Having just graduated from the Oakville Trafalgar high school, Jake’s presence made a big change with his school-mates, who have been supportive, inclusive and eager to accept and learn about their ever lovable classmate and his VIP peers. Their enthusiasm extended to awareness campaigns with other schools and have earned them a $3,000 prize from The Halton Down syndrome Association for their World Down syndrome Day campaign. Jake and Sam, his prom date and long-time family friend, were crowned prom King and Queen by their school peers and they in return got to present their school mates with the prize on behalf of the HDSA at an assembly at the end of the school year.
Jake continuously teaches his family, his school peers and everyone who comes across his path to celebrate individuality and the value of one’s abilities within the scope of their own existence and life path.
Join us on the golf course July 20th as we #SinkOneforJake to celebrate life and embrace this lesson for generations to come! Register HERE.