A ‘VERY special’ youngster with an extremely rare condition managed to triumph over adversity by completing an obstacle course last week raising hundreds of pounds in the process.
Lauren Taylor, 11, from Hoyland Common, was born with a very rare genetic condition called Williams syndrome.
Williams syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body.
This condition is characterised by mild to moderate intellectual disability or learning problems, unique personality characteristics, distinctive facial features, and heart and cardiovascular problems.
It affects one in every 18,000 children in the UK.
May is the syndrome’s awareness month and in commemoration Lauren completed a mini mudder obstacle race, raising £550 in the process for the Williams syndrome Foundation.
Lauren’s mum, 45-year-old Katherine, said: “On May 6 as the King was being crowned, Lauren along with other children from the Yorkshire region who also have the condition took part in a mini mudder obstacle race.
“Children and adults with the condition have many mobility issues such as low muscle tone, co-ordination and spatial awareness issues and for Lauren just the feel of grass on her bare feet creates high anxiety for her.
“So tackling an obstacle course with uneven surfaces, narrow balance beams as well as cold water was a massive challenge for Lauren and her friends to conquer.”
Both Katherine and her husband, 46-year-old Paul, said they could not have been any prouder of Lauren who has previously been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award and appeared on ITV’s This Morning.
“Lauren really is a true inspiration to us,” Katherine added.
“For many children the day may have seemed like a walk in the park but for Lauren slow and steady won the race and seeing her face beam with pride as she crossed the finish line is just another memory for us to cherish.
“Lauren has triumphed over adversity throughout her life from being born weighing just 3lb 12oz and overcoming so many challenges including shielding throughout the Covid pandemic.”
There were a number of famous faces on the day cheering Lauren on and her parents want to thank everyone who was there to support in-person and by donating.
“We would like to thank family, friends, neighbours and the Facebook community for getting behind Lauren with their kind donations in such a difficult time with the cost-of-living crisis,” she added.
“We had originally planned on raising £100 however Lauren has such a big following in the community we were just astounded with the final amount.
“The money raised goes to the Williams Syndrome Foundation UK which provides much needed research, advice and support to families affected by the condition.
“On the day Lauren also had the pleasure of meeting Gillian Coultard MBE former England captain and Karen Burrow, Great Britain’s rugby league Lioness, who spent the afternoon with us during our event and finding out about the condition.”