Gigi’s Playhouse namesake Gigi Gianna sings the national anthem at White Sox Developmental Disabilities Party

CHICAGO (WLS) – For someone with Down syndrome, the simple act of singing takes years of practice to work the muscles of the mouth and lungs. Singing the national anthem in front of thousands of fans at a White Sox game, well, that’s a whole different challenge.

Gigi Gianni took him out of the park.

“She has her diagnosis of Down’s syndrome on her face and for her, getting up today meant everything,” said her mother Nancy Gianni.

Nancy Gianna founded the first Gigi’s Playhouse at Hoffman Estates after the birth of her daughter 19 years ago. It offers activities and education for people with Down syndrome and has rapidly grown to 54 locations in the United States and Mexico.

The White Sox asked Gigi to sing for their developmental disability night.

“It’s great to have her here and for all the people she’s helped,” said Julie Taylor, director of customer services for the White Sox.

Actually, Gigi is kind of a rock star here, with fans coming to meet her and pose for pictures. Despite all the uproar, she remained calm.

“I’m never nervous,” she said. “Alone [my mom] gets nervous. “

“It was like a moment of thanksgiving to God,” said Nancy Gianni. “She represents people who need our support, who need people to believe in them. See their potential, not their limits.”

Gigi has said she is embracing her role as an ambassador for Gigi’s Playhouse, and she recognizes that performances like this help inspire other people with Down syndrome to recognize that anything is possible.

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