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Gini Florer

OCCUPATION: Full-time mom and volunteer. President-elect of the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center, a group that raises money for the hospital and provides volunteer support. PERSONAL STATS: The Park Cities native studied business at Wake Forest University and started her career in the executive development program at Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Florer later met and married John, who works in Plano for EDS, an HP company. The couple settled in University Park and welcomed three sons to their family: Will, 7 and a half, John Lawson, 5, and Sutton, (almost) 2. At 9 months old, doctors found that John Lawson experienced a stroke in utero, causing him to have seizures until brain surgery disconnected the left side of his brain at 17 months old. WHAT DRIVES YOU TO GIVE BACK: When John Lawson had his hemispherotomy at Children’s, we visited just about every department in the hospital. So, we got to know the nurses and staff very well. Children’s is like our family’s second home, so it will always be important to me to give back to the people who helped my family in our time of need. BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF BEING A MOM OF THREE BOYS: They are all very different people with different ages and developmental stages — this means that one “way” doesn’t work with all three! I want to be consistent, but giving them what they need may look a little different for each child. Sometimes they don’t necessarily appreciate that! YOUR PARENTING STYLE: I am so very involved in the details of their lives. I want them to know that I’m interested and engaged when they are talking about something they care about, which means that I know a lot more about Star Wars and Legos than an average human being! I think keeping those communication lines open will be beneficial as they get older. STEPS YOU TAKE TO HELP YOUR KIDS UNDERSTAND ONE ANOTHER: Since Will was born, I have spoken to him as a little person — not as a baby. So we have had a very communicative relationship from the beginning. He was almost 4 when John Lawson had his brain surgery. Very early on he would say, ‘John Lawson doesn’t play with me like so and so’s little brother plays with him.’ I’ve found that honesty is the best policy. I tell him exactly what is going on with his brother and why he is different. OUTLOOK ON LIFE: Before John Lawson, I thought that I would have my 2.5 kids and that would be that. After he was born, I realized that there will be circumstances in your life that you might not have chosen, but even in the midst of those circumstances you can have joy, peace and hope. Sometimes I wonder what life would have looked like had John Lawson been ‘typical.’ I can truly say that I would not ‘fix’ him, even if I had the choice … the blessings he has brought us far outweigh the sadness.