Wigan youngsters star in campaign video for World Down Syndrome Day
Two youngsters from the borough are among dozens of people with Down Syndrome appearing in a new awareness-raising video.
Elsa Ball, from Bryn, and Emily Gregory, from Atherton, are both appearing in the Queen-themed video released this week for World Down Syndrome Day.
The campaign Wouldn’t Change A Thing has produced the heart-warming video set to iconic song Don’t Stop Me Now after its Carpool Karaoke film last year went viral and racked up millions of views.
Seven-year-old Elsa can be seen signing the song’s title while five-year-old Emily appears during the solo section air guitaring.
Emily was in the smash hit video last year while Elsa is making her first appearance.
Their mums Sarah Gregory and Leanne Flaherty spoke of the power of the video to change outdated ideas about Down Syndrome and show exactly what people with the condition which means they have an extra chromosome can achieve.
Leanne, who also founded local support group Our Pride, said: “I’m excited for Elsa, although I was getting quite stressed while we were filming her singing.
“There were a lot of out-takes.
“For her to see herself on a video like this will be amazing.
“When she realises what is happening it will be a lovely moment.
“Raising awareness like this is much needed. It’s about showing what children can do rather than what they can’t and providing encouragement for families who are experiencing the diagnosis.
“Last year’s video went massive, I don’t know how many countries it was seen in.”
Emily’s mum Sarah said: “We could never have imagined how big the first video would get. People have stopped us in local shops saying they’ve seen it.
“This year’s is a lot bigger with more people involved. You put your name down and if you were chosen you were one of the lucky ones.
“It was fun to film. Her dance teachers were behind the camera dancing along with the music too and her brothers were there.
“She loves any kind of music and performing and laps up being recognised.
“It’s amazing to be part of something so positive. When I had Emily I didn’t know much about Down Syndrome and a lot of the information seemed quite outdated.”
The campaign chose Don’t Stop Me Now to tie in with the success of Freddie Mercury film biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
World Down Syndrome Day falls on March 21 each year. Find out more at www.wouldntchangeathing.org