Girl with Down’s becomes model after being told she ‘wouldn’t lead normal life’
The family of a four-year-old girl born with Down’s syndrome were told by doctors she was never going to have a normal life.
In a sense, the medics were right; little Cara Brown wasn’t going to be like other children – she was to become a child model.
The youngster was diagnosed with the condition – a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome, 21 hours after she was born.
The news came as a complete shock to parents, Meryn, 37, and Duncan, 40, as their 12-week scan had confirmed chances were low.
So the pair, from Buckingham, were heartbroken when they were told that Cara would be overwhelmed by lifelong medical conditions including heart problems.
But mum-of-two Meryn said Cara is defying the odds by not just walking and talking, but modelling for catalogues and campaigns too.
Cara has bagged herself an agent and has so far modelled for clothing range Little Green Radicals and advertised for a Down’s syndrome campaign.
She explained how Cara doesn’t have many of the other conditions doctors warned she may develop.
‘They present it as a really negative thing and just talk about a lot of medical issues,’ explained Meryn.
‘When you’re just presented with a long list of problems that your child is going to have, it’s very scary and a terrifying thing to hear.’
Cara is now involved in a campaign, Downright Amazing, to educate midwives and doctors to break the news to parents their child has Down’s syndrome in a sensitive way.
The idea to kick start her modelling career came as the family wanted to fight the stereotype of the condition, showing children in a positive light.
Cara had her first shoot at two years old when a local photographer asked for help building his portfolio.
Now she’s a natural in front of the camera.
‘I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that she would be fine and an amazing little girl,’ added Meryn.
‘It’s important that adverts and the media reflect society as it really is, and it’s fantastic Cara is contributing towards a more inclusive picture of society and counteracting negative stereotypes of Down’s syndrome.
‘She’s done so well and I’m so proud of her.’
She’s even become a celebrity in her local area and Meryn said Cara is recognised daily since she began modelling.
The youngster’s condition means she is slower in reaching her milestones than her peers but she is now walking, talking and making friends at nursery.
‘She’s slower than typical kids her age but she’ll get to wherever she’s going to go,’ said Meryn.
The modelling has also been a great boost for Cara’s confidence.
‘Cara loves seeing the photos of herself and she loves doing it because she just gets to play around in the garden having fun. She’s become really confident.’
What a cutie.