Northampton mum’s mission to raise awareness of Down Syndrome support group that helped her during pregnancy

The mum felt there was not enough support out there, but the group helped her to connect with other parents whose children have Down Syndrome

Friday, 5th March 2021, 1:16 pm

A Northampton mum has made it her mission to raise awareness and funds for a Down Syndrome support group, which helped her during her pregnancy.

Amy Roche, from St James, had her daughter, Matilda, who was born with Down Syndrome, in July last year.

The now mum-of-three was told during her pregnancy that there was a high chance her child would be born with an extra chromosome.

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Mum and son, Amy and Joseph (left) are taking on a running challenge in support of a Down Syndrome support group after their daughter and sister, Matilda (right), was born with the condition.

At the time, Amy and her partner were given options including to have more testing to get a definite answer or carry on with the pregnancy.

To make an informed decision, the family wanted to find out more information about Down Syndrome, but they found it difficult to find that support.

Amy said: “We were not told of any support you could access if you carry on with the pregnancy as usual.

“I just think the support is not out there as much as it should be.

“We found a PADS (Positive About Down Syndrome) page for pregnant mums in the same situation.

“It gave me a place where I could go to ask questions and I could speak to other mums who were feeling the same.

“When people hear Down Syndrome they panic and try to Google, which isn’t the best place to look as a lot of information is outdated.

“But the page is a great place to go as it makes it less scary and it provides up to date statistics to help parents make an informed decision.

“It can also link you with other parents who have children with Down Syndrome so you can find out what it is like in real life.”

Since Matilda was born, the organisation has continued to support Amy and her family as there is also a page for parents with young babies with Down Syndrome.

As the group has helped Amy so much in the last year, she now wants to help raise money and awareness, so alongside her 13-year-old son, Joseph, Amy has begun her challenge to run 21 miles in 21 days, with the intention to finish on Down Syndrome awareness day on March 21.

The 31-year-old added: “The page has only been going for a couple of years, so a few of us decided to do some fundraising in the lead up to Down Syndrome awareness day to help raise awareness and money for the group so the page can help other parents too.

“We’re trying to do just over a mile a day to bank up extra mileage just in case.

“I know it’s not that far, but after three kids it’s a challenge for me and Joseph is dragging me around.”

Donations for Amy and Joseph's challenge can be made on the PADS GoFundMe page and more information about the organisation can be found on the website.

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