This is Mark Bateman.
Mark is my friend. He is a cousin to my wife.
Mark was born with Down’s Syndrome over fifty years ago. He was greatly loved as a child and his parents George and Kitty did their best for him without the support that parents of children with Down’s receive today . Growing up Mark was always happy. Mark was grown up when his mum passed away and he was looked after by his dad, who did a wonderful job of caring for him..
Mark never really learnt to talk properly, but communicates through his smiles and he brings untold joy into the lives of his family and all who know him.
When Mark’s dad died, his sister Angela and her husband Kevin became his carers and they continue to give Mark a lovely life. Words can never tell of the kindness shown by these two truly wonderful people.
I sometimes look at Mark and think of the ways we are alike and not alike. He doesn’t have the same worries and concerns in life as I have, he is not burdened with the same social responsibilities and expectations as I am, but he does know the value of a warm and loving family, he does know, again like me, the joy of being loved and cared for.
Mark has recently become a great uncle to little Billy. I hope as Billy grows up he gets to know and love Mark as we do – a loving, happy and kind friend and like Mark we hope and pray Billy is able to bring joy and happiness into the lives of others.