The Road to Compassion

Category: "Inspire" Stories, Integrity Serves

Date: October 15, 2021

On a special “Inspire” Podcast episode, we learned the inspiring story of Denise and Derek Barnes of D&D Insurance and how their daughter, Paije, taught them to be more compassionate.

The couple has built their business on the principles of compassion and service. They get to know each person and give them the care they need. Because of that, the Barnes have a reputation of quality in their home state of Washington. On the podcast, Derek says Paije is the inspiration behind that consideration.

Paije was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). This means that the muscles throughout her body are weaker than the average person. According to research, SMA is the leading genetic cause of death in children. When Paije was young, her doctors said that she wouldn’t survive her teens.

Due to her condition, Paije has been in a power wheelchair since age five. At 18, she survived the swine flu but stayed in the ICU for over a month. But despite it all, Paije maintains her positivity.

Her compassionate attitude rubbed off on her family and inspires those around her to be kinder and more compassionate. She has overcome challenges and teaches those around her the power of positivity.

Her family is happy to report that she has proved her doctors wrong. She’s not only still with her family, but she’s also thriving. Paije recently celebrated her 30th birthday. She’s happily married to her college sweetheart, and they are proud parents.

During the day, Paije works at D&D Insurance with her parents, sharing her compassion with her clients. Her strength inspires the Barnes family and the D&D team to go out and be kind, compassionate and use their business for good.

We are so lucky to learn from Paije’s example of compassion and strength. We are glad to welcome her, her parents and the whole D&D team to the Integrity family. Go listen to the podcast to learn more about D&D Insurance. To learn more about Spinal Muscular Atrophy, visit

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