: 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


Published by Lizzy McEllan 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

Police appeal to find family of Ilkley man

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Officers want to find the relatives of 74-year-old John Michael Evans, who died at his home.

Older article

Do you know an Ilkley superwoman?

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Local group The Ilkley Soroptimists are looking for nominees.

Top articles

Distinctive jewellery stolen in burglary near Cross Hills

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Thieves broke into the property in the village of Lothersdale on Tuesday evening.

EasyJet to stop offering nuts on flights to help keep allergy sufferers safe

National: EasyJet is to stop offering nuts on flights and ban passengers from eating them on-board if a fellow traveller is allergic to them.

Flooding and mudslides kill at least 60 people in South Africa

World: Flooding and mudslides have killed at least 60 people on South Africa's eastern coast, officials have said.

Mo Farah feud over 'theft' at Haile Gebrselassie hotel escalates

Sport: Mo Farah is embroiled in an extraordinary war of words with fellow distance star Haile Gebrselassie over an alleged theft during a stay in his Ethiopian hotel.

Ivor Novello nominee Ghetts: 'What I'm doing now is inspirational'

Showbiz: Ghetts has seen a lot of success since bringing "darkness" to grime 16 years ago.

Financial planning board game encourages families to talk about money

Business: The concept is simple, but will it work for parents and children?

Can you ask for a beer in all these languages?

Education: Holiday language classes in Harrogate launch next week!

Can you ask for a beer in all these languages?

Education: Holiday language classes in Harrogate launch next week!

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.

Local school success in green poem competition

Education: To celebrate Stray FM's Green Month.

Local CAREGiver to run marathon for Asthma UK

Health: She wants to inspire other 'non-runners.'

Mowing your lawn: a pain in the grass

Family: One Harrogate landscaper has the answer.

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.

"It's a fantastic place": Harrogate cancer centre celebrates major milestone

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital is marking its five year anniversary.

Hillarys team up with Stray FM for opening broadcast

Stray FM Station News: Harrogate's local radio station will be live from the brand new Hillarys store.

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.

Reports of an accident involving bus and car on A59

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The road between Knaresborough and Starbeck is partially blocked

North Yorkshire districts among best places to live in UK

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Three parts of North Yorkshire have been named in the top ten places to live in the UK.


Easter... do you do chocolate eggs?

Trending in Yorkshire

Distinctive jewellery stolen in burglary near Cross Hills

Thieves broke into the property in the village of Lothersdale on Tuesday evening.

Fountains Abbey celebrates record-breaking Easter

It's among a number of leading Yorkshire attractions to have had a successful bank holiday weekend.

"This could be the end of Welcome To Yorkshire"

Lord Paul Scriven's been reacting to the recent resignation of Welcome to Yorkshire Chairman Ron McMillan

Weather warning for Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale

Thunderstorms may bring some temporary disruption to travel and power supplies.

Transport bosses announce delays to rail projects

It affects services in Harrogate, Skipton and Ilkley.

More news...