Carissa Carroll ( is an educator at the collegiate level and considers her best teaching opportunity to be the three children that call her mom.  Carissa became the founder of an organization called Jack's Basket in 2014, after a year of discovering the amazing joy in the unexpected.  Her middle child, Jack, was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome.  At his one-year birthday they delivered their first basketcontaining a letter of encouragement, gifts, resources, and support to another family that would receive the same unexpected news they experienced.  After national media exposure and an overwhelming response from others, Jack's Basket celebrates babies born with Down syndrome around the world, providing local, national, and international resources to new and expectant parents.  Jack's Basket recently celebrated their 400th baby and is honored to share that many areas around the world are inspired by the idea and have started this program in their communities.  Carissa also has a mission of bridging the gap between medical professionals and families raising children with Down syndrome by providing up-to-date information on Down syndrome, research based information on how to deliver a diagnosis, and a family's perspective on raising a child with Down syndrome.  Carissa lives in the Twin Cities with her husband Chris, and three children, Luke, Jack, and Taylor.

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