Big steps for little Lauren

Lauren Taylor with dad Paul, of Barnsley who is doing a 24km trek to raise awareness for the Williams Syndrome Foundation

Lauren Taylor with dad Paul, of Barnsley who is doing a 24km trek to raise awareness for the Williams Syndrome Foundation

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A father is tackling the tough terrain of the Peak District to raise awareness of his daughter’s rare genetic condition.

Paul Taylor is embarking on a 24km trek to highlight the plight of 17-month-old Lauren, who was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome last year after long bouts of illness.

The tot weighed just 3lb 12oz when she was born and was treated in Barnsley Hospital for a collapsed lung.

It took several months for medics to confirm she had Williams Syndrome, which affects one child in every 20,000 in the UK.

Since then Paul, 36, and wife Katherine, 33, of Hoyland Common, Barnsley, have helped Lauren deal with the heart problems, development delays and learning disabilities caused by the syndrome.

Little Lauren has soldiered on and in May last year was crowned winner of The Star’s cute baby competition.

Now proud dad Paul has enlisted the help of friends and colleagues at Next Distribution, Wath Upon Dearne, to help him tackle a fundraising walk for the Williams Syndrome Foundation.

Katherine said: “To say she was very poorly when she was born is an understatement.

“Some nights the doctors were not expecting her to make it through.

“So now milestones for Lauren are a huge achievement.

“As there is very little awareness of the condition parents can feel very much alone, which we have come to experience.

“When she was diagnosed we were directed to the Williams Syndrome Foundation.

“The website provides support and information, and my husband along with a group of his closest friends and colleagues want to raise money and awareness for the foundation.

“We’ve already had a re-tweet of support from Darren Gough.”

n Visit www.justgiving.com/Tayllauren11 to sponsor the walkers.

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