Week-old baby Lily was diagnosed as a Down syndrome patient, and her parents Vicki and Eddie Beddall were worried about the limitations that a child with the syndrome would face. They loved their daughter unconditionally, but they knew that the world wasn’t always kind to people who were different.
The parents were strong and managed to make it through all their difficulties, and they haven’t looked back since.
While the mother was expecting Lily, they had been informed that there was a minor chance of the baby having Down syndrome. After her birth, the diagnosis came as a huge blow to the parents. “Everything looked bleak and we thought our world would change forever. It has changed – but for the better. She brings light to our lives,” Vicki said.
“With a typical child you can sometimes miss milestones because they come so quickly. But with Lily we celebrate every development – a smile or step is a huge deal for us. I love her with all my heart,” added Eddie.
Lily is a truly special child. She is called “headstrong” by her parents. She knows 15 words for speaking, and 60 others are used through sign language.
Vicki realizes that Lily can’t fulfill all her expectations, but she is also no different from other children. “Every day she surprises me and makes me laugh.”
Vicki and Eddie got a phone call from a modelling agency last fall. Scouts working for the agency were linked to Matalan, a fashion chain from the U.K. and they were also a part of the local Upwards and Downs charity.
Lily was chosen as the model for the Spring/Summer 2017 collection and had a photo shoot. 217 stores of the chain in the U.K. now display Lily’s face all over their walls.
Vicki feels pride in her daughter’s success to prove all judgements wrong. “Down’s syndrome is not what you expect. It is hard work sometimes, but she was going to be hard work anyway as she is two years old.”
“She has lots of friends and she can do anything that other children do. It’s all about breaking down stereotypes and showing that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and abilities.”
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