Swindells branches out.

Carol and John Glaser felt well prepared for a new baby when their son Jack was born in 2005. After all, he was their fourth child, joining two brothers, then ages 22 and 14, and a 4-year-old sister. Something the Glasers weren't prepared for, though, was that Jack would be diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Anxiety settled in for the couple, whose blond-haired baby had been transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit right after birth because of medical problems tied to the disorder. A jumble of questions swirled through their minds. What lay ahead? What special needs would their mentally challenged son face in life? How could the Glasers be the best possible parents to Jack and to their other children?

Soon after seeing their newborn through surgery for a heart defect, the Jacksonville, Ore., couple learned it wasn't easy finding answers to questions about Down syndrome in southern Oregon's Rogue Valley.

Little did the Glasers know that hours north in Portland, a plan was taking shape to help families like theirs — families who live in rural areas with limited resources available concerning children with disabilities.