Susan and John Cloeter founded the Down Syndrome Association of Roanoke in 1991, a year and a half after their son Chase was born with translocation Down syndrome 21/14. They invited the few parents they knew in the area who had children with Down syndrome to their home – including DSAR Board member, Kathy Cole – with the intent of starting an organization to provide support, education, and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome and their loved ones. The group’s first goal was to create packets of current information about Down syndrome and available community resources to place in hospitals so that doctors would have something helpful to give to new parents when they inform them of their baby’s diagnosis. The DSAR’s mission evolves with each new family that joins the journey
John is a partner at Hub Corporation and spends his spare time cycling. Susan enjoys sewing and is active in state and local politics. They live in Roanoke County with their son Chase, and dog, Lily; daughters Anna and Amy live nearby. Their daughter, Kendall, lives in Richmond with her husband, Jonathan, and daughter, Harper. Susan and John lost their 25 year-old son, Drew, in 2016.