Children sock it to negative stereotypes

Herald Series: World Down’s Syndrome Day is marked at Berinsfield Pre-School with all the children wearing odd socks. Front, Jo Crawford with her daughter Evie-Mae, two, wearing her odd socks, with her friends offering their efforts World Down’s Syndrome Day is marked at Berinsfield Pre-School with all the children wearing odd socks. Front, Jo Crawford with her daughter Evie-Mae, two, wearing her odd socks, with her friends offering their efforts

FRIENDS of brave Evie-Mae Crawford – who has Down’s Syndrome and has lived with holes in her heart and leukaemia – donned odd socks to support their pal.

More than 30 friends at Berinsfield Pre-School paid at least £1 to raise £88 for Down’s Syndrome Oxford to mark World Down’s Syndrome Day yesterday.

Mum Jo, 36, said: “Wearing odd socks to mark the day is done all over the world and we do this to give the message that like odd socks, people with Down’s Syndrome may look a little different but we all do the same job.”

The Berinsfield two-year-old was born with the genetic condition and two holes in her heart.

In October 2012, she underwent surgery on her cleft palate and had grommets fitted in both ears.

But just weeks later parents Jo and Stuart, 36, were told she had leukaemia and would need six months of intensive chemotherapy.

The toddler finished her successful treatment last summer and visits Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital for monthly blood tests.

Her mum said: “Evie is doing great. She now has hearing aids fitted and as well as getting on really well at pre-school, she is swimming, she’s a member of Riding for the Disabled at Southmoor and she is full of chatter and smiles.”

In September, she joined the Wimblestraw Road pre-school. Nursery assistant Marlene Crockett said: “Evie-Mae only joined us in September but she is making great progress, socialising and joining in.”

World Down’s Syndrome Day is held on the 21st of the third month to signify the three copies of chromosome 21 that people with Down’s Syndrome have.

Down’s Syndrome Oxford spokesman Andrew Dubock said: “People with Down’s Syndrome can do practically everything, it just may take them longer.”

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