THE mother of a little girl who suffers from dwarfism has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the condition and try to stop people staring at her daughter when she is out and about.
Laura Ward is forced to endure funny looks and sideways glances every time she goes out with six-year-old Jessica and she has now said enough is enough.
She is trying to contact others in the same position to organise a series of events to raise awareness of the condition, in a similar way to Dwarfism Awareness Month events which are currently taking place in America.
Laura said: “Everywhere we go there’s people staring and we don’t want that for her. We want people to be aware that she’s no different to them. She’s just little.
“She’s our little girl with a big attitude.”
Jessica, who attends Donington Cowley Primary School, was just like any other baby when she was born, so nobody picked up the condition.
It was only when Jessica went for her six-week check up that the doctors noticed anything.
She was sent to a paediatrician and diagnosed with achondroplasia and dwarfism.
Laura said: “We got told she wouldn’t live until she was one. We were devastated. We thought ‘why us?’”
There are several different types of dwarfism, which can have around 200 causes.
Jessica suffers from a form which affects her limbs. She has a normal-sized body, but her arms and legs are a lot smaller than other people’s. It means that even when she is fully-grown she will be less than four-and-a-half feet tall.
When people question her small stature, the six-year-old just laughs it off, and says that good things come in small packages.
But Laura said she would still like things to change.
She said: “If there was more awareness people would not stare as much.”
She is looking for people affected by dwarfism to contact her so they can get together and plan events to help people learn more about the condition.
Contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.