Howlong’s Olive Statham, 3, is an enchanting little girl who adores everything her big sister does.
The bubbly toddler with a highly sociable personality has Williams Syndrome (WS), a rare genetic disorder that affects about 1 in 10,000 Australians.
Like many little girls their age, Olive and her sister Pearl, 5, are captivated by unicorns, according to mum Robyn.
“Unicorns are all we ever talk about and dream about in our house,” she said.
A family outing to Melbourne’s Unicorn Festival in 2017 became the catalyst for a dream to host a similar magical event closer to home to raise awareness of WS.
Robyn and her sister Bronwyn McCormack (who recently completed a masters degree in teaching) will bring to life all the wonder of these mythical creatures at the inaugural Border Unicorn Festival on Sunday, May 27.
Set in the fairyland of Albury’s Botanic Gardens, the free community event promises a fun-filled day of unicorn-themed food and craft stalls with face-painting, music and more for the young and young-at-heart from 10am to 1pm.
Amidst the fairyfloss, cookies and cupcakes, the day will also raise funds for the Williams Syndrome Family Support Group (Vic).
The group embraces families and individuals with WS, supporting them to reach their full potential.
The condition, which involves a spontaneous deletion of genetic material on chromosome 7, comes with a range of medical problems and developmental delays.
These learning challenges often occur side by side with highly social personalities and an affinity for music.
Robyn said she had been overwhelmed by the instant wave of support for the festival, first flagged on Facebook.
“It went viral overnight with more than 1000 people interested in the event and that number has grown to 3000,” Robyn said.
“We’ve had a wonderful response from local businesses with 100 per cent of the site fees for stalls going to the WS support group.”
There have also been generous sponsorship offers including from Tallangatta photographer Carmela Parkin, who is thrilled about supporting a cause that ignites her creative passion.
Carmela will donate all profits from special unicorn photoshoots to the WS Family Support Group (Vic).
The 20-minute session gives you a chance to meet and pat Tilly the Unicorn and receive a magical metal print with floating hanger (31x46cm) for $399.
To book phone Carmela on 0402 439 425 or follow her ‘A beautiful eye’ Facebook page.
To find out more about the 2018 Border Unicorn Festival go to the Facebook page.
* The author of this article also has a daughter with Williams Syndrome.