Doctors said she would never learn to read or speak and now, she has become the first model with Down’s syndrome to win an international beauty pageant.
Kate Grant, 19, was crowned the winner at Teen Ultimate Beauty Of The World competition, held in Portadown, Northern Ireland.
The event celebrates diversity and has three categories for children, teenagers and over-20s and is open to anyone regardless of weight, height or marital status.
Forty candidates from around the world took part in the pageant.
Kate represented her native Northern Ireland and took the top prize in the competition.
Kate always wanted to be a model since she was 13. But, she struggled to get any work despite her mum Deirdre sent her photographs to several agencies.
She always believed it was due to having Down’s Syndrome.
But, when her mom Deirdre posted a picture of Kate in her prom dress, it was seen by pageant director Taylor-Rae Hamilton, who then invited Kate to take part in the Teen Ultimate Beauty of the World.
Speaking to Kim Willis for Sunday People, Kate’s proud mum said:
‘I thought of him [the doctor] as she made her acceptance speech up on the stage at the pageant, describing her hopes for an inclusive society, one where people like her are treated as equals.’
Kate, who is on cloud nine after achieving so much at such a young age, said:
‘I want the next generation who have any special needs to know the true meaning of beauty is who you are, not what you look like.’
‘Kindness, compassion and inner sparkle, that’s the ultimate beauty. If the judges saw that in me, then I’m happy.’