An Advocate for Acceptance and Love: Amy Kosmalski One Plexus® Award Recipient

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August 18th 2017

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Last year, we debuted a new award created to recognize individuals who embody the three attributes that define One Plexus®: belief, partnership, and action. The One Plexus Award isn’t earned through outstanding sales or sponsoring. It’s given to an Ambassador who lives the values of Plexus and who is the embodiment of our culture.

When Amy Kosmalski gave birth to her first child, Kayla, she and husband Rick never expected the diagnosis of Down Syndrome. From day one, Amy and Rick wanted Kayla to live a productive and independent life, have a job someday, and contribute to the community. They spent the first few years of her life focusing on her health and meeting her basic needs, and—like any first-time parents—doting on their baby girl.

As Kayla grew, so did the love Amy had for her daughter and the families and people that made up their community of support. Amy was a life-long volunteer so, it came as no surprise when in 2014 Amy and Rick joined eight other families to start the 321Foundation—a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower all individuals with Down Syndrome, their families, and friends in the community though advocacy, education, and support.

When Amy realized that unlike her 2-year-old brother, Logan, a Medicaid rule prevented Kayla from using a tax-advantaged account to save money she received as gifts from relatives, she stepped up and spoke out. Amy spent five years lobbying Congress for the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act.

The law, also known as “Kayla’s Law,” allows eligible people with disabilities to establish ABLE accounts, which resemble qualified college-savings programs known as 529 plans, while protecting their eligibility for Medicaid and other federal benefits. The accounts can be used to save for education, housing, transportation, employment training, and other expenses. The ABLE act was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Flash forward to today and Amy continues to lead by example, not only for Kayla and her two other children, but for everyone who knows her. She throws her heart into everything she does for her community and her Plexus family, and has discovered that her passion for health and happiness is improving other people’s lives.

Congrats, Amy, on your 2017 One Plexus Award!

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