Our daughter, Julia Lyn Matonis, was born March 11, 1992. At 7 pounds and 3 ounces she was a healthy little girl with tiny features, a bald head and a quiet little cry. A couple's first child is special in so many ways but Julia was just a little extra special, she was born with a condition known as Trisomy 21 - Down Syndrome. Unfortunately, there seems to be a link between Trisomy 21 and immune disorders and at the age of six Julia developed Juvenile Diabetes.
To her brother and sister, cousins and friends and anyone who really knew her Julia was just another kid. She made friends, did homework, played Challenger baseball, took dance and for 15 years participated in gymnastics. Some of her best days were spent at camp Ho Mita Koda for a week or two each summer. Happy and shy, funny and slightly stubborn, that was our Julia. She could also work a room. Julia never missed an opportunity to make herself the center of attention and not a family get together went by where she didn't tell every Aunt or Uncle how pretty or handsome they were.
Though she adored books and movies, music - especially musicals - would always be her first love. The scores to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Into the Woods, Wicked and so many others were completely memorized. A hairbrush, my comb, the remote control, they were all microphones and the front porch of whoever's house we were at a stage. There you would find Julia, CD blaring, singing for everyone. Julia passed away on December 17, 2010 from a heart arrhythmia. She was 18. In celebration of her life, we are continuing to support the organizations that brought her joy, Camp Ho Mita Koda. The intention of the annual benefit is to raise money for Julia’s Song Foundation and to give proceeds to Camp Ho Mita Koda in Julia’s name. To date we have been able to renovate the camp pool and build Julia’s Cabin, a tree house like no other, with a large great room, a wraparound porch, a communication room and a playground that Julia would have been more than happy to perch upon! We are grateful to all of you for your support and hope to see you at the benefit!
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