A mum has described her excitement and pride after her daughter was unveiled as the new face of a popular yogurt.
Ann Dillon is the proud mum of 19-month-old Abby, who has Down Syndrome and has just been revealed as one of the new faces of Glenisk's Organic No-Added-Sugar Baby Yogurts.
Ann, who is from Ovens in Co Cork, said she hopes the campaign will help fight misconceptions about Down Syndrome.
She said: “It’s so exciting and we’re so proud.
“It’s so important for us because there are so many misconceptions and old-fashioned stereotypes about people with Down Syndrome.
“I think visibility in the media is the first step towards awareness, breaking down those stereotypes, and ultimately acceptance.”
The yogurts bearing Abby's pictures have just landed in shops and Ann said her family and friends have been busy trying to get their hands on them.
She said: “My sisters in Kilkenny and Dublin have spotted the yogurts up there, and I think my mother’s fridge must be full of ‘Abbys’.”
Abby, who had open-heart surgery last year, was one of 14 finalists chosen from 4,500 entries into Glenisk’s #SweetBaby search competition.
Emma Walls, Director of Glenisk, said that Abby was a natural on set.
Ms Walls said: “She was great fun to photograph with limitless energy and smiles and her pictures are simply beautiful. She was a natural at the shoot so we chose her to feature on our natural flavour; we are honoured to have her feature on Glenisk packs.”
Ann said Abby’s seven-year-old brother James and four-year-old sister Amy are also really excited about the news.
She also said Abby avails of services provided by Down Syndrome Centre Cork.
“When Abby was born it was a scary time for us because we didn’t know any other babies with Down Syndrome.
“If we knew then what we knew now it wouldn’t have been as scary. People should understand that people with Down Syndrome are more alike than they are different,” Ann added.