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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

‘WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING’ – Inspirational Ballymena couple delivering love across NI

Local charity, Special Delivery NI, which provides special gift baskets to new mums with little ones born with Down Syndrome, has just launched their Secret Santa Christmas Appeal to help fund their continued impacting work.

Ballymena couple, Owen and Clare Cushenan, established Special Delivery NI to make sure every precious little one born with Down Syndrome receives the special welcome into this world that they deserve, and that every mum feels supported.

After the birth of their third child, beautiful little Aoife, the couple received her Down Syndrome diagnosis, and felt like they were met with more apologies than congratulations.

Little Aoife.

The couple shared:

“We were given pamphlets and booklets about how limited her life would be - there were no positives. Unfortunately many mothers have a similar experience.

“Faced with an overload of medical information that seemed to have our baby's life mapped out already, it appeared like a lifetime of doom and gloom awaited. They were very, very wrong!”

Their own experience at a very special but uncertain time, inspired Clare and Owen to launch the charity with the hope of providing gift baskets to new mums of babies born with Down Syndrome.

Owen and Clare delivering gift boxes to Craigavon Area Hospital, the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen, and Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

Special Delivery NI create loved-filled baskets containing a few little gifts - a blanket, candle, soft toy, some essentials, and positive information such as the 'WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING' book, and a letter welcoming the new mum into the Down Syndrome community - all because “we want them to know they are not alone,” Clare said.

Commenting, on this years Secret Santa Christmas Appeal Clare added:

"Our Christmas fundraiser enables us to deliver gift boxes throughout the whole year.

"We would be so appreciative if you could donate a little again this Christmas so new mums and babies with Down Syndrome receive a congratulations and positivity at the start for their journey together."

Twelve Special Delivery Gift baskets handed over to the Royal Jubilee Maternity Unit and the Ulster Hospital Maternity Unit.

Owen and Clare, through their Special Delivery NI charity, have delivered hundreds of gift baskets across all of Northern Ireland’s maternity units.

• £5 will add a baby comforter.

• £10 will add a Candle and baby toiletries.

• £15 will add baby grows and toiletries.

• £40 completely fills a gift basket for a new mum and baby.

Clare joined by daughter Maria delivering special gift boxes to the Maternity Unit at Antrim Area Hospital.

Every child should be celebrated! You can help Clare and Owen to bring hope at the arrival of these little ones, during what can be a scary time for new parents.

FACEBOOK PAGE: Special Delivery NI


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