Today, Sunday, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day and 18-month-old Elijah Holt is taking part in the national 21 for 21 challenge by walking 21 steps with the aid of his new frame to help boost the coffers of Living Down South, a group run for and by members of the Down syndrome community in South Devon.
‘As a child with Down’s Elijah is a later developer than most youngsters of his age and has only just started to walk,’ explained mum Louise.
‘Today he will be taking part in the challenge by learning to walk 21 steps with his new walking frame as he’s not yet walking independently.
‘The frame arrived just a couple of weeks ago and he’s really getting to grips with it.
‘It was a bit daunting, probably more for me than Elijah, but he’s a really positive little chap and he loves it.’
Babies born with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome 21, hence the March 21 date chosen for World Down Syndrome Day and the 21 for 21 challenge.
Living Down South supports families, children and adults with Down syndrome. Like numerous other groups many of their fundraising and activities have been curtailed by coronavirus but the group is aiming to come out of lockdown fighting.
Despite the lockdown the group has managed to organise visits from Santa, socially distanced picnics, Zoom chats, online pottery classes and sessions with Singing Hands.
‘With Elijah’s extra chromosome 21 we call it his superhero superpower,’ added Louise. ‘We know things are hard at the moment but all money raised for the charity is much appreciated.’
Anyone wishing to make a donation and help Elijah in his fundraising efforts can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lds21for21