By Stephanie Siek, CNN
(CNN) - Karen Bowersox doesn’t sleep much these days. Launching any self-funded clothing line would be exhausting enough, but Bowersox’s company, Downs Designs, created an entirely different system of sizing.
Its T-shirts and jeans meet the needs of people with Down syndrome.
“If I didn’t feel so sure of where we’re headed, I would never do this and risk what we have,” Bowersox said from a hotel room in Xintang, China, where she had been working with a jeans manufacturer. “I feel like a pit bull, because people better step aside and just let me get this job done.”
Bowersox created her company in 2010 to deal with a mundane yet agonizing problem – off-the-rack clothing would not fit her granddaughter, Maggie, who has Down syndrome.
Down syndrome’s best-known symptoms are those of intellectual impairment and facial differences – eyes that slant upwards, small mouths, and small, flat noses. But individuals with Down syndrome also have physical traits that make it difficult to find clothing that fits appropriately.
Two years ago, Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of The Reformed Church in Highland Park, New Jersey, made an agreement with authorities which allowed a community of Indonesians to live and work legally in the United States. The Indonesians were able to stay and work, but the authorities warned the permission could be revoked.
Kaper-Dale says that more than 70 of the Indonesians recently received deportation warning letters from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stating that they might be deported.