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Lara Gilson

Place in the Family
Eldest child. Big sister to Belle (3)
YouTube, iPad, Books, Chocolate, Going to the Playground
Hair Washing, Hair Brushing and Face Washing
Swimming, Ballet, Hip Hop Dancing, Yoga

Testimonial by Mum, Jackie Carlile

Every year brings new firsts, new challenges and new joys and this year has been no different for Lara.

This year has seen her first graduation, from preschool. The first of many graduations during Lara’s lifetime I don’t doubt.
Her first ballet recital. She was fantastic, in the words of her teacher “she stole the show”. Her first time swimming in the big pool on her own, and her first time in Disneyland.

Plus this year will see Lara have her first day in BIG school!
Lara is working hard in preparation for primary school and most of the support in getting her ready has come from the vital therapies she receives at the Down Syndrome Centre.

She is learning how to write her own name with the guidance of her Occupational Therapist and her Speech Therapist is supporting her as she progresses with her reading skills.
I’m certain that with Lara’s ability to work hard and the staffs continued dedication towards her, she will be more than ready for the big day.

This year also saw Lara deal with challenges and no challenge was greater than the cancer scare she faced! The tests, the scans, the operation, it seemed too much for any 5 year old to take. As I crumbled with worry, Lara took it all with incredible strength and bravery.

Having already overcome more medically in 5 years than most do in a lifetime, including a brain haemorrhage, suspected meningitis , pneumonia, heart failure, open heart surgery and the long medical journey of being born 3 months prematurely. I hoped beyond hope that she would overcome this too.

Thankfully our beautiful little girl was going to be ok. Much to her and her sister’s joy she was home in time for the Easter bunny’s arrival.

Being home allowed Lara to get back to the things she gets most joy from, like preschool, dressing up, swimming lessons, ballet and hip hop dancing, her sister (sometimes!). Her iPad, taking selfies, YouTube, snapchat filters and without doubt she enjoys nothing more than a birthday party. Pretty much all the things that most 5 year olds enjoy, proving that Lara really is more alike than different.

This year has taught us life is precious, Lara is precious and that we need Lara more than she needs us at times. It also reconfirmed that we are incredibly lucky, lucky to call such a resilient, clever, funny, kind and brave girl our daughter. A daughter that we are beyond proud of.


Testimonial by Claire Mullally, Speech and Language Therapist

Lara has thrived in so many ways over the last year. She is full of life and chats to everyone in the centre when she arrives. Lara’s speech skills have improved immensely and this has increased her overall confidence. Lara loves to tell me about school and her friends. Lara will start big school in September and I have every confidence she will make new friends very quickly as she is joy to be around.

Lara Gilson

2016 2016

Lara Gilson

2017 2017

Lara Gilson

2018 2018

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