Three-year-old Lucius Corry, who has Down’s syndrome, a hearing impairment and ventricular septal defect, is taking on his biggest challenge yet to raise vital funds for Mencap Northern Ireland to thank the charity for supporting him to take his first steps.
Lucius will be taking on a 50-jump challenge as part of Mencap in Northern Ireland’s “Move It For Mencap” fundraising campaign, which will raise money to help the charity deliver its life-changing services to people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland.
Proud mum, Joanne Corry, gave birth to Lucius at 38 weeks by C-Section after developing gestational diabetes. Lucius was immediately taken away for blood tests and was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. Further scans showed that Lucius has a hearing impairment as well as a ventricular septal defect, which will require him to have surgery at some stage.
At two-years-old Lucius started attending the Mencap Children’s Centre, which is run in partnership with the Belfast Trust, where he was supported to take his first steps last December.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has meant that the Children’s Centre has not been able to deliver face-to-face support, Mencap quickly adapted its services to offer virtual support to families. Mencap wanted to make sure children with a learning disability continue in their development and that families can get the vital support they need during lockdown.
Lucius and Joanne are grateful for the ongoing virtual support they have received and continue to see Lucius develop despite lockdown. Lucius had been trying for weeks to jump and was really struggling, but during lockdown Lucius achieved his first jump.
Now he loves jumping and the family have set Lucius a new challenge to do 50 jumps to fundraise for Mencap to thank the charity for its support.
Joanne Corry, mum to Lucius, says: “Lucius has thrived at Mencap’s Children’s Centre. He learned to walk in December, which was a major achievement for him. He couldn’t have done it without the support from Mencap. The staff at Mencap have been brilliant to us and are always there for support. We have got to meet so many other families who were in a similar situation and could relate to what we were going through, which really helped. The workshops and training courses were a great help to me and my family.
“Even though this is a difficult time for everyone, we were delighted when Lucius hit another milestone a few weeks ago by learning to jump! He had been trying for weeks but his feet never left the ground, but he was so determined to do it. Then suddenly his feet lifted, and he was so excited. He loves jumping now. We decided we would like to help to raise as much as we can for Mencap so they can go on supporting other families like ours and to also say thank you to Mencap for everything that they have done for us so far.”
Margaret Kelly, Director of Mencap Northern Ireland, says: “I just want to say a huge thank you to Lucius and Joanne for fundraising for Mencap. It means to so much to us that our families so value our services that they are willing to fundraise on top of everything else they do. Our extraordinary teams are working extremely hard in challenging circumstances to help many children and adults with a learning disability and their families in need of support during this difficult time. Lucius’s jumping is a very special ‘Move it for Mencap’ challenge. It is really wonderful that Lucius and Joanne are helping us to transform the lives of other children with a learning disability and their families to help them build independent and fulfilling lives.”
The coronavirus crisis is affecting people nationwide, but it is society’s most vulnerable people, including people with a learning disability and their families and carers, who are most likely to be hit hardest. Mencap continues to provide the highest quality care and support to thousands of children and adults with a learning disability and their families and carers, while ensuring that the 42,000 people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland are supported through the charity’s helpline, online support services and programmes, and lobbying and influencing work.
“Move It For Mencap” is asking you to move in whichever way suits you to raise money for Mencap in Northern Ireland and help support local people with a learning disability. Set yourself a challenge, be it walking, running, or even dancing, set up a fundraising link and get started. Find out more about getting started and other ways you can get involved too at:
Support Lucius’s “Move It For Mencap” fundraising challenge at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joanne-corry1.