Finding real-life inspiration
H er eyes sparkle, her naturally mischievous personality shines through, and her giggle is infectious to those who know her. Yet some people who looked at Mara simply saw her Down’s syndrome and not the pretty, clever, happy little girl she is. Strangers thought it was OK to cluck sympathetically, “Oh she’s not too badly affected is she?” – which made Mara’s mother furious.
Luckily, instead of becoming upset Michelle Clark used her anger to launch a campaign to make people see past her daughter’s condition and realise she is a real person. The Mara Is Mara Facebook page went viral and has been seen by people around the world.
Its educational message has helped countless others and made poster boys and girls of beautiful babies and children who are now being recognised for who they are and not what condition they have. Read Mara’s story on page 16 – one of the incredible real-life stories in our special issue this week.
We also have the story of dogs that can help their narcoleptic owners on page 28, the Dubai-based hypnotherapist who cured a robbery victim’s panic attacks on page 32 and the mother whose creativity has resulted in a baby photo album like none other on page 40. There is also a fascinating feature on frenemies on page 36 – scarily, there is an abundance of these so-called ‘friends’ in the UAE.
Until next week,