Marvellous Mia Takes to the Ice

Mia is ten years old and lives in Pontypridd where she is a familiar figure in her community due to her amazing commitment to fundraising.

 

Born with left congenital hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy affecting the right side of her body, Mia is prone to disc dislocation and uses a wheelchair to deal with the lethargy that this condition brings. This certainly doesn’t hold her back and Mia has been involved in charity work since 2013, raising thousands along the way.  While the condition affects her mobility and she requires regular check-ups, her speech has been unaffected by the disorder and despite doctors initial fears that she would be unable to walk she continues to defy expectations. Her numerous charity fundraising includes cake sales, raffles, auctions, dances and even a zumbathon!

Last year Mia was presented with the Princess Diana Award by TV star Matt Johnson, in recognition of her good work helping other youngsters. Her mum Karene says “Mia has been outspoken and represented herself as a voice for children with disability and brain injuries. She has proved that no matter what your disability it should not hold you back. She has tried many activities to prove that she can do them – even if my heart has been in my mouth watching her.”

As well as fundraising, Mia is the Welsh national children’s ambassador for the disabled children's charity Caudwell Children. Alongside this important role Mia has used her voice to challenge the Welsh Assembly about the struggles that disabled people have when finding suitable housing. After emailing every member she finally received an invitation from Vikky Howells (AM) to raise her concerns about housing and education. Her issues were raised within the Senedd and are currently being considered. Mia also met with the chairman of Accessibility Wales Richard Jones to discuss changing the way support is given to children with a physical disability within school.

Not content with this Mia wrote to her local council to challenge them as to why her local playground Oaklands Play Park in Cilfynydd did not have any equipment that was suitable for disabled children. Mia said: "I wrote to the council as I did not think it was fair I couldn’t play in the park. We did tours of the park and I made a video to show people what was needed and suggested some of the things I had planned.” The council listened to Mia’s suggestions, with Councillor Crimmings saying " The expertise and enthusiasm shown by Mia, supported by Vikki Howells AM, Councillor Morgan and Mr Jones has enabled us to create a lovely play area that can be enjoyed by children of all ages and abilities.”

So, after all that what is next for Mia? Well, despite struggling to even balance on her own, Mia has now taken on her biggest challenge to date – to learn to ice skate! In 2012 the charity Dreams Come True paid for Mia’s family to visit Florida and now Mia wants to raise money for them so that more children can achieve their dream. Mia says "This is going to be a hard challenge, but it is for a good cause. I had to make it hard so people would sponsor me. I have found it really hard and it has made me want to give up, but I can’t as I want and need to help children like me."

Before this latest challenge, Mia’s doctors and mum Karene had safety concerns, as her condition means she has trouble balancing and her joints are prone to dislocating. But, she persuaded both the doctors and her parents it was what she wanted to do, and they have allowed it, so long as she “paces herself”. Her physiotherapy was also increased to help her body cope with the demands. Karene explained: “Every time we go for an ice skating session, she knows the consequences. She has had a lot of falls and I don’t like seeing her in pain, but I know how much she wants this, and so I can’t stop her doing it.

Mia’s year long challenge will culminate in her taking part in a charity ice hockey match in Cardiff this July. She has already smashed her original target of £1500 with the total currently sitting at an incredible £4,890.

Her mum, Karene, 39, said she is proud “beyond words” and we can certainly see why!

You can sponsor Mia’s fundraising page by visiting

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/miathorne1

Read more about Caudwell Children

http://www.caudwellchildren.com/

Read more about Dreams Come True

http://dreamscometrue.uk.com/

 

 

 

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