A U.K.-based photographer's pictures of children with Down syndrome dressed as Disney characters is going viral.
Nicole Louise Perkins is a full-time teaching assistant at a special needs secondary school and a photographer on the side.
"There is just something so amazing about children with special needs," she told TODAY.
Last year, she decided to create some awareness campaigns, including one she called "Down Right Beautiful," where she featured individuals with Down syndrome.
"Each person involved had their own page with their story and any advice their parents would give to new parents who have just been given a diagnosis," she explained.
As part of the campaign, she did 32 photo shoots of people — from babies to young adults — all who had Down syndrome. She said the response was so great that she decided to do it again this year, only this time with a Disney theme.
"There is something magical about Disney and I have always been a massive fan so I thought it would be perfect," she said.
For several weeks this fall, Perkins regularly posted pictures from her Disney photo shoots, one of which went on to get more than 40,000 shares on Facebook as of Monday night.
"Each and every child involved has Down syndrome and don't they just look FABULOUS!" she wrote. "As Walt Disney said- 'If you can dream, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse.'"
"I hope the project helps people realize that Down syndrome isn’t scary and that the people that have Down syndrome don’t have less of a life," Perkins told TODAY. "They have great lives and along with that, they make the lives of the people around them much richer."
Perkins said she has gotten messages of support from around the world.
"Comment after comment of how happy the images had made people, how much they love them and just so much positivity — it left me feeling so full inside," she said. "One of the best things was a personal message I received of a woman saying thank you and that her thoughts have now changed if she was to have a baby with Down syndrome and that was the best because that is the whole aim of the campaign."
Perkins said the post has reached more than 14 million people on Facebook alone, and it's a "lovely feeling" to have impacted so many people.
"One guy has brought a Down With Disney calendar for his tattoo shop the other side of the world.. now if that’s not helping raise awareness I don’t know what is!" she wrote.