Marnie Pree, now 2, has been scouted by a modeling agency after her proud mom, Sarah Pree, 46, from Kent, shared her photos online.
Sarah says that although she was initially devastated by Marnie’s diagnosis during her pregnancy, she feels incredibly lucky to have Marnie and her “extra chromosome.” The family is hoping to break down the stigmas attached to Down syndrome by sharing their daughter’s story.
Sarah said: “I was always posting about Marnie, she had built up quite a big fan club and eventually she was spotted by a scout.
“Marnie has been for her first shoot for the agency and she absolutely loved it. She was a complete natural in front of the cameras.
“By being signed with this agency it means that Marnie will potentially have the opportunity to model children’s clothes for brands such as Next and River Island, who the agency have previously worked with.
“It is so exciting, especially as I can see how much she enjoys being in front of the camera.
“Marnie has recently been approached by the brand JoJo Maman Bebe, which is a very inclusive brand, who have said they are going to keep us on file for shoots once the Coronavirus situation has calmed down.
“On the last shoot we had for her portfolio, the photographer said that she made their job extremely easy.”
Sarah, who has two older children in their twenties from a previous relationship, says that when she met Marnie’s dad, who didn’t have children, they decided they wanted to try for a baby together.
After a year of trying, Sarah fell pregnant but sadly suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks.
“It was devastating as we really wanted to have a child together,” Sarah said. “Before meeting Colin, 47, I thought my childbearing days were over, I never in a million years thought I would be trying for another baby.”
“However, situations change and it was something we both wanted as a couple.”
“Two months after I miscarried, I fell pregnant again with Marnie,” she added.
“At nine weeks we had a reassurance scan to make sure that everything was fine, it all looked good. We thought everything was okay.”
When the couple went for the 12-week scan, Sarah, a mom of three, said their whole world crumbled apart.
Sarah added: “At the 12-week scan the doctors told us that Marnie was probably going to be born with Down’s syndrome.
“I was completely shocked, it was the last thing I was expecting. I felt devastated, to begin with, it was such a scary time to hear those words come from a doctor’s mouth.
“There was another more invasive test I could have that would tell us whether she was going to be born with Down’s syndrome or not. I wanted to know for sure so I could start preparing and educating myself.
“I had the test which told us it was certain she would be born with Down’s syndrome. I was terrified and heartbroken and scared for the future.
“I was offered a termination, but I knew I didn’t want to do that.”
Sarah said: “I think that the way the news is delivered to expectant moms is part of the problem with the stigma around Down’s syndrome. They use words like ‘there is a risk’ as opposed to ‘there is a chance’, they say ‘I am sorry to tell you that’ which is just all extremely negative.
“It is almost as if when you find out you’re baby could be born with Down’s syndrome, the next step is finding out when you want to be booked in for a termination, but that doesn’t have to be the way.
“Everything works out fine. There is nothing to be frightened of and it is a very regular life. Marnie’s extra chromosome makes her who she is and I wouldn’t change it for the world because then she wouldn’t be Marnie.
“I am so happy that Marnie has the opportunity to be signed up to a talent agency and become a model so that she can change people’s perceptions about people with Down’s syndrome.”
Sarah says she’s excited about Marnie’s modeling future and can’t wait to start working with some brands.
“We are excited to start working with more kids fashion brands, and hopefully some campaigns that highlight the positives of those with Down’s syndrome,” Sarah said.
“I want to say to any lady that receives the earth-shattering news during their pregnancy and is worried about the future, everything will be fine and there is nothing to be scared of,” she said.
“We are a regular family, who do regular things, no matter how much it may seem like the doctors are trying to fill you with fear about the future.”
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.