Our Superheroes: Vanessa and Ryan

Vanessa is a passionate advocate for Cerebra and her son Ryan, who even climbed a mountain at night to raise funds and awareness of what a struggle it is to go without sleep.

Our Superheroes: Vanessa and Ryan

Vanessa is a passionate advocate for Cerebra and her son Ryan, who even climbed a mountain at night to raise funds and awareness of what a struggle it is to go without sleep.

vanessa featured image

For six-year-old Ryan Hooper and his family, getting a good night’s sleep was a constant struggle until they discovered Cerebra. Ryan has Down’s syndrome and the condition often causes poor or disturbed sleep, something that affected him and had a knock-on effect on the whole family.

When his mum, Vanessa, heard a representative from Cerebra speak four years ago at a local Down’s syndrome support group, she was keen to find out more about how the charity could help her son. Helping him to get a better night’s sleep was at the top of her wish-list.

‘Cerebra’s sleep service was invaluable to us,’ she says. ‘Whenever I would call they’d answer my questions and reassure me I could cope. The sleep practitioners helped us countless times and were able to get us into a routine, which gave some normality to our daily life.’

Vanessa is keen to promote awareness, and reduce the stigma, of Down’s syndrome and other brain conditions. As part of a larger group, Vanessa even climbed Pen y Fan at night to raise awareness and funds for the charity, and has since become an ambassador for Cerebra.

It’s thanks to everyone who helps to raise funds and awareness, that Cerebra is able to help so many families like it has mine,’ she says. ‘It’s hard to think what life would be like had we not received the support from Cerebra, it would be a lot more hectic to say the least. I’m proactive in raising awareness about Cerebra and its services, as well as awareness about brain conditions like Ryan’s. I want to remind the world that Ryan isn’t a lovely little boy with Down’s syndrome, he’s just a lovely little boy.

Vanessa's Story

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