Kim Rygg is a busy woman. Her life is filled with work, volunteering, swimming, bowling and performance art, just to name a few.
Born with Down syndrome, Kim is soft-spoken and polite, but does not hesitate to stand up for herself.
In junior high school, when another student called her the ‘R’ word, she immediately reported it to the school principal.
“It was just awful, “ said Kim.
Fortunately, that’s the only incident of bullying Kim can recall from her time in school.
A few years ago, her doctor told her that she should cut down on the amount of soda she was drinking and exercise more. She showed tremendous willpower by giving up soda completely and exercising two hours a day on the treadmill and stationary bike. The result was a loss of 50 pounds over three years, sparking her interest in fashion.
Kim puts her unique sense of style to work by volunteering weekly at True Colors, an upscale women’s resale and consignment store. She enjoys putting together outfits and dressing the mannequins for display.
But fashion is just one small part of Kim’s life. She participates in swimming and cheerleading through Special Olympics and works at Holy Family – St. Mary’s School, a private K-5 elementary school in Grand Forks, where she assists teachers with projects and helps out in the kitchen.
Kim’s mother, Lois Rygg, says that she never gets bored. “Kim can always find something to do, even if it’s just pulling weeds in the yard.”
She and her mother used to spend most of the summer at the family lake cabin, but that has been reduced to just weekends, due to Kim’s busy schedule.
“Kim isn’t willing to give up any of her activities, so that pretty much dictates when we can be at the lake,” laughed Lois.
Kim has done some international traveling, as well. Along with her mother, she has been to England, France, Italy and Germany. Her favorite memory is of being serenaded during a gondola ride in Venice.
One of Kim’s greatest pleasures is acting and singing in L.I.S.T.E.N. Performing Arts productions. She’s appeared as Sandy in Grease, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and Sophie in Mamma Mia.
Stage fright is not in her vocabulary. “She never gets nervous,” says Lois.
Kim is usually at True Colors on Friday afternoons, so stop in to say hello. She will be glad to help you find the perfect handbag or accessory for your own personal style.