Leah Ryan is now 17, and amongst other things she has experienced learning difficulties and problems with fine motor skills since she was a baby – but was only diagnosed with a mild form of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome when she had just turned 12. Her parents have ignored any temptation to push her towards achievable goals – but have rather preferred to let her find her own way. Here is her latest picture of sunflowers – inspired not by Van Gogh, but by the flowers on the front of the International 22q Foundation Calendar for 2014. You will find her as Miss July in that same calendar, proud of what a 22q’er can achieve.

Written by Christopher Ryan, father to Leah