Dad behind a viral video featuring children with Down syndrome which led to a charity and inspirational movement challenging negative perceptions.
When Jamie McCallum’s daughter Rosie was born eight years ago with Down syndrome, it was a fork in the road that changed his life. The father-of-three discovered that while her condition meant challenges lay ahead, it was also an integral part of who she was and he “wouldn’t change a thing” about her.
His passion for changing outdated perceptions about Down syndrome led to him creating a Carpool Karaoke style video called #wouldntchangeathing in 2018.
It featured 50 mums and their children with Down syndrome singing and signing, and it went viral, having been viewed more than 500 million times and making headlines in 30 countries.
Its success triggered the creation of a parent-led charity of the same name, of which Jamie is chairman. They have now put together a book called Wouldn’t Change a Thing that will be given to every new parent of a baby with Down syndrome, to give a positive insight into what lies ahead, based on the experiences of real families.
Jamie, from Prestwick, said: “The challenges we overcome are what make us who we are. Some of the most enriching experiences we’ve ever had are also because of Down Syndrome. We should be careful what we wish for. When I find myself wishing any aspect of a child away – I try to remember that sometimes it is best to leave that genie in the bottle.
“Because this scenario – where you actually “could” or “would” “change a thing” – sends a shiver down my spine. In truth, it would take an army to prise me away from the actual daughter that I have. The one whose unique traits and perspective I have grown to love deeply.”
His wife Victoria said: “I can’t begin to describe how proud I am of Jamie today and every day. I don’t say it enough but what he achieves is humbling and this award honestly is beyond deserved. I could not have done this journey without Jamie. He is the most amazing dad to our three kids.”