Kempsey's own Xavier Martin will be in the spotlight later this month when Celebrate T21 release a new book highlighting the stories of people across Australia diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
Celebrate T21 aim to support and inform families when they recieve a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21 or T21).
"Unfortunately, the majority of families receiving a diagnosis of T21 are given little or no support, which means the rate of termination in Australia is exceptionally high," Celebrate T21 founder Stephanie Rodden said.
"We want all families to receive the information and support they need to make an informed decision, and to know they are not alone in their journey."
The 2021 Celebrate T21 photo book will be released on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day.
Xavier's mum, Claire Martin, is extremely proud of her son, who has also been named as one of this year's Celebrate T21 ambassadors.
"I'm so proud of him, it's great to see him fully accept who he is and have such a positive outlook," she said.
Claire struggled to find information and support following the confirmation of Xavier's diagnosis when she was 13 weeks pregnant.
"I found Celebrate T21 and just connected with Stephanie and I found support through them," Claire said.
"Finding that support had such a positive impact on my life when we first had Xavier five years ago.
"I've been involved with them for a few years now and do fundraising locally and do what I can to help support other families in the same situation we were."
The Celebrate T21 photo book contains images donated by photographers from across Australia.
"The photos of Xavier were taken and donated by Nambucca Birth Photographer. They have been in an exhibition at the Project Contemporary Artspace in Wollongong for a few weeks as well," Claire said.
The book, once released later this month, will be gifted to families receiving a prenatal or postnatal (up to three months) diagnosis of Down Syndrome, as part of a Celebrate T21 gift pack.
"The gift packs have amazing goodies, up to date information and links to resources as well as the beautiful photo book," Claire said.
"I plan on donating copies of the book to our son's school, doctors offices and our local maternity units.
"It's important to spread awareness about Down Syndrome and ensure families have that support behind them."
Young Xavier is enjoying Kindergarten at Kempsey West Public School and Claire said he is opening up more every day.
"He's getting the support he needs and I'm just so proud of him for being a part of bringing positive awareness to Down Syndrome," Claire said.
"I'd really love if we could celebrate my son and all people living with Down Syndrome across the Macleay."
To find out more information, head to the Celebrate T21 website.
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