Two north-east mums have organised a special fundraising dinner to support a Down’s syndrome charity.
Claire Penny and Leigh Henderson, who both have children with the condition, are hosting the event to raise money for Down’s Syndrome Scotland.
Mum-of-three Claire’s 18-month-old son Caleb was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome five weeks after he was born and mum-of-two Leigh’s son Rory, who will be two in October, was also diagnosed with the condition as a newborn.
Down’s syndrome is a condition caused by an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells.
Claire, from Old Rayne, who is also mum to Brody, 8, and Ayla, 5, said: “Leigh and I both have sons with Down’s syndrome and that’s what really brought us together.”
Since he was five months old, Caleb has also suffered from West Syndrome, which causes children to have spasms. He is fed liquids through a tube and is currently on oxygen.
Claire said: “When he was diagnosed, although I think I knew deep down, it was still a shock. But you have to embrace it and be the mum they need you to be.”
Leigh, from Mintlaw, who is also mum to four-year-old Molly, said: “Rory was five days old when he was diagnosed, and it was a major shock.
“There has been a lot of difficulty – he had to have heart surgery when he was nine weeks old. I threw myself head first into a Makaton course – where you learn signs and symbols to communicate. Through that I met so many people who had children with Down’s syndrome and it was so reassuring.”
Now the pair, both 32, are to hold their own fundraising dinner for Down’s Syndrome Scotland on November 3 at Logie Country House.
Leigh said: “Claire and I became very close through our sons.
“We had attended a few events for Down’s Syndrome Scotland and thought we could do something ourselves. Logie Country House have been amazing and are giving us the hall for free.
“Event FX will also be lighting up the front of the house in the Down’s syndrome colours – blue and yellow.”
Claire added: “It’s all been going according to plan.
“All 160 tickets have completely sold out and we actually ended up putting in two extra tables because of the demand.
“It should be a fantastic evening – it’s all fallen into place and it’s the first time either of us have done something like this.”
To donate money to Claire and Leigh’s cause, or to learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org