Down syndrome and chasing dreams: Leigh Creighton is proud to be living his best life

Happy: Leigh Creighton, 40, talks about what he is proud of for World Down Syndrome Day, on March 21. He says he is living his best life. Picture: Simone De Peak

Happy: Leigh Creighton, 40, talks about what he is proud of for World Down Syndrome Day, on March 21. He says he is living his best life. Picture: Simone De Peak

Leigh Creighton was 12 hours old when a doctor told his parents he would be able to do the same things as everyone else, it might just take him a little longer.

Now 40, the Mount Hutton man said was proud to say that his Down syndrome diagnosis had not stopped him from living his best life.

The sky was the limit.

"I love my life, I love my disability as well," Mr Creighton, who celebrated his 40th birthday by jumping out of a plane, said.

THRILLSEEKER: Mr Creighton during his latest skydive.

THRILLSEEKER: Mr Creighton during his latest skydive.

"It makes me who I am. I live my life to the very fullest."

Armed with determination - and surrounded by love, support and encouragement - Mr Creighton had already managed to tick off most of the things on his "bucket list".

He was immensely proud of all of his achievements, and he wanted to share some of them on World Down Syndrome Day to help tackle the stigma and lack of understanding about the chromosomal condition.

"I want parents to know that it is OK to have a child with Down syndrome," he said. "They rock your world. They really do. They are human beings, and just like anyone else, they want to love, and give the gift of love. They want independence. They want to get married, work, have a business.

"I want people who have Down syndrome to know they can live their life to the fullest, and do what makes them happy. That it's OK - that it's good - to have those dreams and those goals."

Come fly with me: Leigh Creighton, of Mount Hutton, jumped out of a plane to celebrate his 40th birthday. Picture: Simone De Peak

Come fly with me: Leigh Creighton, of Mount Hutton, jumped out of a plane to celebrate his 40th birthday. Picture: Simone De Peak

He was proud that he was able to live independently.

He was proud of his family.

He was proud of himself for going skydiving, and trying water-skiing.

He was proud that he had found love.

Down Syndrome Australia chief executive, Dr Ellen Skladzien, said the international theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2019 was "no one left behind".

"Too often people with Down syndrome do not have the same opportunities as their peers because of the stigma associated with intellectual disability," she said. "We asked people with Down syndrome to consider the question, "What Makes Me Proud?" The answers we received showcase the diverse interests, passions and abilities of people with Down syndrome."

Mr Creighton was interviewed as part of Down Syndrome Australia's "21 Stories to 21 March 2019" series, which you can read at downsyndrome.org.au.