THREE-year-old Sebby Fyans is following in his parents’ footsteps for a cause close to his heart.
The toddler has Down syndrome and will be taking part in the Mini Great South Run for the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association.
The group has helped Sebby and his parents Mike and Rebecca, from Portsmouth, since he was born.
Last year, the couple completed the Great South Run and Sebby joined his dad for the final stretch after cheering from the sidelines.
This year Sebby, who learned to walk last October, will take part in the 1.5km race on Saturday, October 22.
He will be joined by a team of classmates from his nursery who will run alongside him in support of the charity.
Sebby started learning to walk around the time of the run last year and he loved it so much that we thought it would be a great for him to be involved this year.Rebecca Fyans
Rebecca, who works for the Royal Navy, said: ‘A lot of Sebby’s therapists only concentrate on what he cannot do instead of how amazing he is and what he can do.
‘He was born eight weeks prematurely and we found out through a blood test that he had a 50 per cent chance of being born with Down syndrome.
‘We declined a pre-natal test which carried a risk of miscarriage as we had struggled to conceive Sebby – it wasn’t a risk we wanted to take.
‘Some of the struggles along the way have been noticing that his developmental milestones like walking and talking are a lot more delayed than that of a typically developing child.
‘He didn’t learn to walk until he was two and is still learning to talk.
‘Sebby started learning to walk around the time of the run last year and he loved it so much that we thought it would be a great for him to be involved this year.’
The Fyans family has been supported by the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association for the last three years and Rebecca is now a secretary for the charity.
She added: ‘The early days can be a very lonely place and it’s nice to know that you are not the only person going through things.
‘It’s nice to be able to give something back to the community and to help provide and a warm and welcome guidance for new parents with a baby with Down syndrome.
‘Sebby loves his nursery and I mentioned to the staff at the nursery that he was running. A few of the parents were asked if they wanted to join in and they said it would be a good idea to get a nursery team together.’
The Great South Run returns to Portsmouth on Sunday, October 23 and 25,000 runners are expected to take part. Every year 2,500 young runners complete the Junior and Mini Great South Run on the Saturday.