Watching her son Arthur take his first teetering steps, Emma Lowe was overcome with emotion and cried tears of joy.
A child’s first steps are an important milestone for all parents, but for Emma the achievement had greater meaning as Arthur and his identical twin brother Alfie were born with the genetic condition Down’s Syndrome.
Although the fact her twins have Down’s Syndrome means more challenges, Emma wants to tackle the negativity which surrounds the condition and that she believes her five-year-old twins Arthur and Alfie are a real blessing.
Emma, 36, who lives in Preston and also has children Thomas 19, Harry, 13, Ben, 12 and Elsie, three, says there was a one in a million chance of both twins being born with Down’s Syndrome - and she knows her boys are truly special.
Emma says: “Arthur and Alfie will be six in July and they bring us so much joy.
“Every day I look at them and feel blessed. But I also feel sad about all the stigma that Down’s Syndrome gets and worry about how society and people will be with Arthur and Alfie when they are older.”
Both Arthur and Alfie love crawling around everywhere. However, Arthur has just recently taken his first steps which was a momentous occasion for the family.
As well as having Down’s Syndrome, Alfie has been diagnosed with autism and is non-verbal and is not walking.
Arthur has taken his first steps and is also non-verbal- although he has just started to say: “mum”.
Emma says it is disappointing and upsetting when people hold stereotypes about Down’s Syndrome - or think the only option is to terminate the pregnancy is they find out they are carrying a child with Down’s Syndrome.
Emma says: “When Arthur took his first steps, it was a huge and emotional milestone and I cried when he first did it.
“Arthur and Alfie are definitely a blessing and I am campaigning to stop all the negativity surrounding Down’s Syndrome.
“My children need a future. I don’t want people to look at them as if they should not be here.
“I think people fear the unknown and focus on the negatives.
“But Arthur and Alfie are so happy and bring us so much joy.
“Down’s Syndrome is not a bad thing and people with the condition can still do a lot and have a normal a life as possible.
“When my boys grow up, I will make sure they are independent and get a job and work and are part of society.
“I think some people see Down’s Syndrome as a burden on society but they need to stop seeing it as a negative.
“Arthur and Alfie are ambassadors for a charity called Follow Your Dreams and are also part of an amazing local charity High Five.
“I have done some talks about Down’s Syndrome and am on a quest to raise awareness about Down’s Syndrome and want to make people realise there is nothing ‘down’ about it.”
Arthur and Alfie were born by Caesarean Section at 36 weeks weighing 6lbs and 6lb 12oz and it was only the following day after tests had been carried out that Emma realised they had Down’s Syndrome as she says you could not tell from their facial features.
Although Arthur and Alfie’s development is slower, Emma is determined her boys will have the best future possible,
Emma says: “People with Down’s Syndrome can live full and normal lives and there are many who have gone on to forge careers in acting, horse-riding and music.
“Arthur and Alfie are wonderful and I want people to know that Down’s Syndrome shouldn’t be about negativity.”