A loving father from Utah has high hopes that the magical pictures of his little son in “flight” in various beautiful scenery and situations can help send an upbeat message about Down Syndrome. The images of William Lawrence, the youngest in a brood of five “flying” in the air have gone viral, and doting father Alan Lawrence said the project is a vehicle for him to show to the world that although afflicted with Down Syndrome, kids like his son William can still live remarkable lives. Lawrence is able to provide his son the ability to seemingly defy gravity through skilled photo editing.
“When Wil was born, I didn’t take the news as well as my wife did, and my family,” said Lawrence remembering that day. “I was dwelling on things that were out of my control. I was being selfish.”
A now candid Lawrence added that he once thought his son would be a burden because of his disability, thoughts he now realizes were extremely selfish. “This project is a way for us to show how much our son has blessed our family,” he said. “He’s not a burden, he hasn’t limited us. He’s opened the door to so many new things, to new experiences.”
Down Syndrome is a genetic illness caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is usually accompanied by physical growth delays, distinguishing facial features, and slight to moderate intellectual infirmity. The typical IQ of a young adult diagnosed with Down Syndrome is 50, comparable to the mental age of an 8 or 9-year-old kid, but this differs widely.
Lawrence and his wife share four other children besides William, and another son is on the way. William, for now, is the youngest and was born in October 2013. Lawrence, an art director and web designer by profession, uses composite images with him actually holding his son aloft. He then he edits himself out.
Entitled Wil Can Fly, the collection made it to his blog and his Instagram account. Wil Can Fly is now courting success as a Kickstarter calendar project. Lawrence likewise set up Wil’s own YouTube channel called Bringing Light, to help increase awareness on Down Syndrome. To make a donation, you can visit Bringing Light on Kickstarter.