A Truly Inspiring Friendship
An inspiring true story of how two mothers help their special abilities children
Two mothers from Norwich in Norfolk, England, have recently set up the heartwarming ‘Best Buddies and their Adventures’ Facebook page dedicated to the inspirational friendship between their two three-year-old sons, Eli and Mason, who both happen to live with Down’s syndrome. One look at the ‘Best Buddies’ page and it is clear to see that Eli and Mason are each other’s rock. Together they trampoline, roll around in ball pits, roar at Triceratops at the dinosaur park and give out a steady supply of hugs to each other. They even bake Rice Krispy cakes (from what’s left of the mixture after many sneaky mouthfuls before cooking!), help clean the hamster cage and happily sing along to their favourite theme tunes, all the while proving that a disability does not impede the capacity for achievement or joy, and can possibly make both more poignant.
According to the NHS (National Health Service, UK) website, Down’s syndrome – or trisomy 21 – is a genetic disorder that causes certain common physical characteristics and mild or moderate learning disability in those born with the affliction. As is natural for any concerned parent, mothers Zoe Lee and Emma Taylor researched as much information on their sons’ shared disorder as was available to them. What they found overall was a general negativity that surrounded information about the condition and constantly focused on the social disadvantages of living with the disorder. Zoe and Emma became keen to shift perspective away from the obvious difficulties that their two boys would encounter. They decided upon a proactive approach to draw awareness to their little ones’ abilities rather than their disabilities by drawing back the curtain on Down’s Syndrome and revealing the capacity for laughter and fun, and ultimately the opportunities that present themselves for truly precious bonds to be forged between friends in the face of tackling life’s hardships together in joint positive action.
The ‘Best Buddies and their Adventures’ Facebook page and support group was created with these good intentions in mind, and centers on the uplifting friendship between Eli and Mason by highlighting their playful interactions and the brotherly love they appear to have for one another, while at the same time emphasising the positivity, courage and strength that is possible when friends come together to support and reassure each other. “We heard a lot about the disabilities they may or may not have,” says Emma, “and we wanted to highlight some of the abilities they will have as all children do”.
Zoe and Emma have a very practical approach to how they are preparing their sons for what they recognise as a life that will “not be easy” but remain determined to push past any labels of dis-ability. Speaking about her son in particular, Emma says, “We like to encourage him to be the best that he can, we push for him to achieve everything that he wants to.”
By giving Eli and Mason’s friendship a platform in this way not only contributes to dispelling much of the pessimism that surrounds Down’s Syndrome, but sends out a heartening message to all that no feat is insurmountable when you have true friends by your side uplift and inspire you to be the best version of yourself and, of course, make splashing around in puddles twice as fun.
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