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What wouldn’t you do for your own child?
They have both survived open heart surgery and eye operations. They have attended hundreds of hospital checks for blood tests, developmental assessments and physical examinations and will continue to live with these difficult challenges for the foreseeable future. Jessica is bright, articulate, lovable and beautiful. She makes friends wherever she goes, attends a mainstream school, has won countless medals for gymnastic ability and can do anything she puts her mind to. Charlotte has bundles of energy. Blessed with an infectious laugh and a great sense of humour, she also goes to mainstream school and enjoys reading, painting and dancing.

Jessica and Charlotte are living with Down’s syndrome, yet their enthusiasm for life and genuine happiness has inspired everyone around them to think; this is not something to be sad about, this is something to be celebrated.

What your children can do for you
Nicola (Jessica’s Mum) and Thomas (Charlotte’s Dad) first met in the autumn of 2009, when Thomas covered the story of Nicola’s fundraising trek across the Great Wall of China. Thomas was covering the story for the newsletter of local charity, Down Syndrome Liverpool, which Nicola had been raising much-needed funds for. Nicola firmly believes that if their girls didn’t have Down’s syndrome, she and Thomas would probably never have met and fallen in love. Nicola and Thomas share many passions: their beloved Everton Football Club, live music and their home city of Liverpool, but most importantly, Jessica and Charlotte. Theirs is a unique, inspirational and uplifting family, a family which owes everything to the strength and courage of two very special girls.

Giving a little something back
In honour of their girls and to thank them for bringing their family together, Nicola and Thomas are about to embark on their most gruelling fundraising challenge to date. They have signed up for an awe-inspiring trek to the summit of Jebel Toubkal in Morocco, which at 4162 metres is North Africa’s highest peak. It is not for the faint hearted and it is the equivilant of four times the size of Scafell Pike, in the Lake District. The trek takes place in October 2012, which touchingly also happens to coincide with the third anniversary of when they first met; double the reason to celebrate when they finally return to base, after three long and arduous days of hiking in high altitudes.

All monies raised from the Jebel Toubkal Trek will go towards enriching the lives of little girls like Jessica and Charlotte, as well as lots of other families touched by Down’s syndrome in Liverpool and the surrounding area. This is achieved through providing guest speakers to children in local schools, organising professional training for staff in mainstream schools, newsletters and an informative website for parents and carers, medical professionals offering weekly support groups for parents and children, day trips and Christmas and Halloween parties.

Down’s syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. It occurs by chance at conception and is irreversible. Around one in every 1000 babies born in the UK will have Down’s syndrome and there are 60,000 people in the UK with the condition.

If you would like to donate to Thomas and Nicola’s trek please visit www.justgiving.com/NICANDTHOMASDSL

You can also donate by texting DOWN60 to 70070 followed by your amount in £s. All money raised will directly benefit Down Syndrome Liverpool.

Together, we can work to end the discrimination faced by people with Down’s syndrome every day, and to give them what they and every other child deserves: the chance to live a full and happy life.

What wouldn’t you do for your own child?

Thank you,

Nicola (Jessica’s mum) and Thomas (Charlotte’s dad)