happening peoplearchive

Gail Udell

With 10 years of work experience in printing, Bay Area native Gail Udell discovered Oregon on a vacation trip to Florence in 1994. "I picked up the Eugene phone book and saw lots of print shops," she says. "I came up and got an apartment. The first day I looked at the paper, I found a job at Eugene Print." Four years later, she met her husband, Jason Udell. In 2003, aware in advance that their daughter Teagan would be born with Down Syndrome, Udell searched in vain for local DS resources. "It was a negative experience," she says. Since the birth of her second daughter Shealyn in 2006, Udell has partnered with fellow DS mom Sydney Shook to start the Emerald Family Down Syndrome Network. "We get together the second Saturday of every month," she says. "Anyone is welcome. It's a chance to get together and play, to socialize and share ideas." EFDSN's first annual Buddy Walk drew a crowd last September. "It was hugely successful," Udell reports. "A lot of adults showed up." EFDSN's next event is Friends and Family Night at McMenamins North Bank on June 10. Learn more at efdsn.org.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 8 May 2008

hp archive