A YOUNG boy from West Linton is about to have a very special birthday at the end of next month.

Cory Knox, will celebrate his first official birthday on Saturday, February 29 where he’ll turn both ‘one’ and four-years-old.

That’s because the youngster was born on a leap year.

And he’ll enjoy a special birthday party with mum Yvonne and his friends and family.

Cory has complex needs which include having low muscle tone, stomach issues, CVI (cerebral visual impairment) and he’s non-verbal.

But in spite of all of this, mum Yvonne said he is “such a happy, smiling, loving boy who loves to listen to music”.

This birthday is also significant for Yvonne and her family as it will be the first one where Cory will be able to enjoy his own birthday cake.

Due to his stomach issues, Cory has had to use a feed tube, but for his birthday he’ll be able to enjoy all the party food. Yvonne said: “Last year he had his first Christmas dinner and now he’ll be able to eat at his first birthday too.”

The birthday bash, which will have a monsters and aliens theme, will see Yvonne’s home filled with balloons, music, party games and smiling faces – “But,” Yvonne joked, “Cory will just want lots of cuddles.
“I planned a party two years ago but that was when we had the ‘Beast from the East’. I want it to be a nice, positive and happy birthday.”

At the moment, Cory doesn’t attend preschool, but Yvonne has taken him to the Royal Blind School playgroup as well as The Yard, an adventure play park for children and young people with disabilities, both in Edinburgh.

Yvonne told us: “I’ve met parents who share our situation. It’s also nice to find places we can go.”

And Cory will be joining the Royal Blind School to start Primary School in August.
“I’m very excited,” explained Yvonne. “He’ll be able to reach his potential there.
“They’ll be able to support him in all the ways he needs. He’ll be able to do hydro-therapy once a week too.
“It was so important to me that he got the place there [Royal Blind School], it’s just us, and he doesn’t go to nursery as it’s hard to find somewhere.”

Spending time at the Royal Blind School playgroup will help with the move to the school too.

Yvonne added: “We already feel like part of the family, so, it’s not like it’s somewhere we’ve not been before.”

The birthday is something the family have been looking forward to.

Yvonne revealed: “We’ve had a life of ups and downs, but we’re really lucky, Cory is healthy in a lot of ways.
“He may be non-verbal, but he has plenty to say – especially when he wants a cuddle.
“He’s very loved, we’re lucky to have him.”