Meet Ingrid-Jessica Hachey Photography
When speaking with Ingrid, I could tell immediately that she is incredibly kind, caring and humble. Her friend, Joanne, nominated her and had such wonderful things to say about her. While I had received so many incredible nominations, Ingrid’s stood out clearly to me. I couldn’t wait to meet her.
Ingrid grew up in El Salvador, remembering her childhood clearly. She recalls watching some children attending a neighbouring school with very little. Some came without shoes and school supplies. Some who would have to leave school to work in the market, helping support their families. Ingrid decided that she wanted to do what she could to help, so she collected various things, like pens and pencils, to donate to the school and help those children in need. From a very young age, Ingrid had a strong appreciation for what she had, and was determined to help others.
Ingrid left El Salvador and came to Canada, attending McMaster University where she completed her degree in engineering and met her husband Michael. They been married for 16 years, and have both built successful careers in engineering. They have two beautiful children. Her eldest daughter, Samantha (10), is a kind, energetic and very funny person. Their handsome son, Alex (7), is an affectionate, joyful and adventurous soul who happened to have been born with Down syndrome.
Alex’s delivery was anything but typical. While labouring at home with a doula friend, it was decided that something wasn’t quite right and they needed to head to the hospital. Upon arrival, the baby was already crowning! She vividly describes arriving at the hospital and being wheeled down the hall to the delivery room, the hall was light, then dark, and then light again. Alex came into this world in that hallway, never seeing the delivery room. As Ingrid describes, he came into this world on his own terms, and has negotiated his way through life that way ever since. Once her sweet boy was delivered, they received the diagnosis of Down syndrome. Ingrid harkens back to that hallway…light and dark. She describes the following days in much the same way. The early days after receiving the diagnosis were dark. The family was scared and didn’t know what to do, how best to move forward and support their son. There was an overwhelming amount of unknowns, things to learn, adjustments to make. The periods of dark however, were short and followed by light! The love and care they have for Alex lead them to celebrate all his wonderful qualities, his spunky personality and the unique things that make him the fantastic person he is. He is just a great kid, who happens to have an extra chromosome.
From the minute Alex was born, Ingrid put her career on hold and made it her mission to advocate, not only for Alex, but for all in the Down syndrome community, and anyone with any disability. That is how she met her friend Joanne. Laura (16), is Joanne’s daughter, and also has Down syndrome. Ingrid saw them in a store one day and followed them, hoping Joanne would notice her and let her ask questions. They laugh about it now, because it has led to years of friendship. Ingrid is one of Laura’s biggest fans, and she looks to Laura as a role model for her son, Alex, and other young children in the Hamilton Down syndrome community of what they too can achieve. Ingrid has facilitated many opportunities for Laura to speak publicly at the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton (DSAH) Open House, on local news, in Parliament in Toronto, and in Banff, Alberta at the Canadian Down Syndrome Annual Conference.
Ingrid is the Communications Director for the DSAH. Along with many committed volunteers, she helps organize and promote events and opportunities for the Down syndrome community. She aims to help with any questions from community members as possible, contacts the media to get coverage of events, and is a driving force behind DSAH Open House each year to which the community is invited.
She also has recently taken on a position as a Diversity Specialist with the Ontario Disability Network (ODEN), further advocating for persons with disabilities in the work place.
In her own words “I live life with intent, but I don’t ever see myself as an inspiration. A “doer”, there is always a way, and that is how I live life now. Ensuring that all that can be done to make our society more inclusive IS done. “DO IT” is really a mantra and a motto for me, “inclusion is intentional – otherwise you exclude by accident” a close second. Ingrid is an inspiration to many in our community. She wears so many hats yet never loses her radiant smile through it all.
Short Bio of Photographer
Jessica Hachey is a real life family photographer in Dundas, Ontario. She is a chaser of dramatic light, quiet moments and real life family connections. Most often found hiking the woods with her three year old daughter Elizabeth and husband Eric, or snuggled up at home reading a good book with a strong cup of tea. Jessica is passionate about documenting beautiful abundance and extraordinary moments in our real, ordinary, every day lives.