Mum’s China charity trek for Ayla

Laura Wood (blue jacket) with her daughter Ayla and sister Vicky.
Laura Wood (blue jacket) with her daughter Ayla and sister Vicky.

A Newtongrange mum is planning to walk the Great Wall of China to raise money for the Down’s Syndrome charity which helped her daughter.

Laura Wood (37) is fundraising to go on the once-in-a-lifetime trip, walking 55 miles in five days with her sister Vicky Wood (39) and stepdaughter Jessica Kaya (20), with each of them having to raise £3700 to do the trek in May next year.

Laura explained how important Down’s Syndrome Scotland has been in the life of her five-year-old daughter Ayla Kaya, adding: “Before Ayla was born I didn’t know about Down’s Syndrome at all. We got in touch with Down’s Syndrome Scotland and they were just brilliant. Whatever is going on in Ayla’s life Down’s Syndrome Scotland are always there for her, to support her or celebrate successes with her.

“Down’s is absolutely nothing to be afraid of, Ayla leads a very normal life, I don’t think people get that sometimes. She does what every little girl does, she goes to nursery, goes to clubs, she plays with her friends. We wouldn’t change a single hair on her head.”

And as for the trip to China, Laura said: “It’s something I have wanted to do for such a long time. I have done something each year for Down’s Syndrome but never this much. There is going to be a lot going on, we just want to raise money for the charity and as much awareness of Down’s as we can.”

The family will hold a Easter Fundraiser at Newtongrange Church Hall on April 8 from 2-5pm, with a raffle, tombola, bake sale, brik-a-brak, face painting, games, a piñata and various stalls.

Laura added: “This is just the first one, we are going to have a disco night later in the year and a race night early next year. And we will be doing bag packing at supermarkets.”