: Waiting for next track...

: Waiting for next track...

"We shouldn't have to fight for our children's right to exist" - Harrogate mum speaks out on World Down Syndrome Day

"We shouldn't have to fight for our children's right to exist" - Harrogate mum speaks out on World Down Syndrome Day

Published at 7:04am 21st March 2019. (Updated at 8:39am 21st March 2019)

On World Down Syndrome Day, a Harrogate mum is determined to change misconceptions about the condition. 

  • A Harrogate mum is determined to change misconceptions about Down's Syndrome
  • Wendy Puckrin is joining a global campaign today to raise awareness of Down's Syndrome
  • Her son, Elijah, who's five, has Down's Syndrome - she says he might not be here today if she'd heard all the negativity about the condition
  • Find out more about World Down's Syndrome Day here

Wendy Puckrin is mum to 5-year-old Elijah, who has Down's Syndrome.

Wendy told Stray FM if she had heard all the negativity about the condition before having Elijah, he might not be here today.

She said:

"There are all sorts of misconceptions - they include that children with Down's Syndrome are always happy; that people with Down's Syndrome will never achieve anything; that they will ruin your life and be a drain on society.

"And that they're always ill and have huge medical conditions.

"This is just not the case."

Wendy and her son Elijah
Wendy and her son Elijah

In the UK, it is legal to terminate after a pre-natal diagnosis up to forty weeks.

Wendy added:

"There are women who have been booked in for terminations without even requesting them.

"There are people who feel bullied into terminating despite stating they do not want to terminate under any circumstances.

"It's horrendous."

Even the terminology around the condition can be damaging - the charity Down's Syndrome Association has issued guidance - to say that someone "suffers from Down's Syndrome " is offensive.

Instead, you're asked to think of the person first - for example, John has Down's Syndrome.

Wendy added she wouldn't change a thing about Elijah.

She said:

"He's my little guiding star and I want him to grow up in a world where acceptance and inclusion is the norm.

"Elijah has an extra chromosone and he's perfect.

"I wouldn't change a wispy hair on his perfect little head."

To raise awareness, today people across the world will be wearing brightly coloured, mismatching socks - because chromosones look a bit like them!

The one circled (below) is is Trisomy 21 - also known as Down Syndrome. People with the condition have an extra one.

Trisomy 21 - also known as Down Syndrome

To find out more, visit the Down Syndrome Association charity website.

Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Stray FM

Newer article

Get ready to 'Dance, Dance, Dance....All Night!'

Family: My Fair Lady is coming to Harrogate Theatre this June.

Older article

Strictly Come Dancing stars visit North Yorkshire school

Family: And one student gets the dance of her life.

Top articles

Brexit: Speaker may block PM's push for Commons vote on his deal

National: Boris Johnson is set for a showdown with Commons Speaker John Bercow today, with the prime minister expected to push for a so-called "meaningful vote" on his Brexit deal.

Kurdish forces withdraw from border town as Turkey-backed fighters advance

World: Kurdish-backed fighters for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have withdrawn from the border town of Ras al Ain following a Turkish offensive in northern Syria to establish a "safe zone".

Play your way to financial stability

Lifestyle: Innovative board game encourages families to talk about money.

The Hundred: How the 15-man squads shape up after draft

Sport: Check out the 15-man squads for The Hundred following Sunday night's player draft.

Masked man robbed comedian Katherine Ryan while she was at home

Showbiz: Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan has said that a masked man broke into her home in the UK and robbed her this weekend.

WATCH: 43 Minutes of Queen in the 70s

70s: The band's team have put together highlights of the their early career including some iconic performances.

Private Harrogate health service putting money back into NHS

Business: Harrogate Harlow is based at Harrogate District Hospital.

You're being asked to Bake for Heroes

Charity Hub: TV chef is encouraging you join in!

John Barrowman to visit Harrogate

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: He'll perform at the Convention Centre in December.

Considering sixth-form?

Family: St Aidan's and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form offers a unique post-16 experience.

Considering sixth-form?

Family: St Aidan's and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form offers a unique post-16 experience.

Considering sixth-form?

Family: St Aidan's and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form offers a unique post-16 experience.

Hairy, spiky, round and knobbly cucumbers at Harlow Carr

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The recent hot weather's produced some unusual looking items.

Local school success in green poem competition

Family: To celebrate Stray FM's Green Month.

Harrogate Flower show on the move

Family: From 2020, the autumn event relocates to Newby Hall, Ripon.

Top Party Dresses for the Festive Season

Christmas: Local Blogger, the Harrogate Girl, picks the best frocks, gowns and outfits for the big Christmas parties of 2017.

Harrogate Monopoly out today - who made the board?

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Your family's most/least favourite game is now available with Harrogate landmarks - did your favourite make the cut?

Delve into deliciousness at Mother Shiptons Inn

Test pages: We sent Stray FM's James Stanley to try out the new menu at Mother Shipton's Inn Knaresborough.

UCI: Changes to bus services

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: There will be route diversions and some cancellations

UCI: Big clean up begins in Harrogate

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: It follows 9-days' worth of cycling action in Harrogate.


When is it OK to start talking Chr***mas

Trending in Yorkshire

Fatal stabbing in Scarborough

Five men and a teenage boy arrested.

Harrogate women to be empowered

A series of workshops for women take place this week.

Countryside Live enters day two

12, 000 people are expected to visit.

Newsreader Tom Bradby discusses Royals, Brexit and new book

He's appeared at the Raworths Literature Festival.

12,000 people due at Countryside Live

The two-day event starts in Harrogate today.

More news...