NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Widowed father of three daughters with down syndrome says girls are thriving at The Haven Sarasota

Down Syndrome Daughters
Posted at 4:49 PM, Dec 03, 2021

SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota father Mark Jordan, has not had it easy.

"My wife and I had six children and three of the six had down syndrome. Leah, Rebecca, and Rachel," said Jordan.

Mark’s wife Joyce was a stay-at-home mom, but she passed away from breast cancer in 2009. Even 12 years later, the pain is still very real

"It's hard for me to talk about, I just can’t say enough how much she meant to the family," said Jordan.

Jordan says his life was turned upside down, and he lost his job trying to care for his daughters.

"I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was worried someone was going to come in and take the girls," said Jordan

Thankfully he got help from his church and from ‘The Haven,' a Sarasota organization that has programs for hundreds of adults and children with disabilities, encouraging independence and inclusion.

"They just absolutely love it," said Jordan

Now his daughter Rebecca works in the kitchen, and Leah and Rachel sort hangers for department stores.

"It's a big deal to me to see the girls be able to do that kind of work that I thought they'd never be able to do," said Jordan.

He says it brings him joy to see his daughters thriving and he knows it's something his wife would be so very proud of.

"She told me that I was going to be a good father to those three girls, which means a lot to me, even today," said Jordan.

The Haven is holding their Holiday Hope fundraiser. Donations of us to $25,000 are matched through the end of the year.

For more information or if you're interested in donating, visit