Hi, my name is Grace Eloise McLoughlin, I am 8 years old, and live with my family in Leeds. I was born very early, at 26 weeks, and weighed 1lb 14oz. I have cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease and Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome. Despite all these long words I am a very strong willed little girl, full of fun and determination. I am unable to walk or sit unaided at the moment, but I practice a lot, and one day with hard work I may be able to. Since starting on the physio programmes, which the generous people who have visited my Just Giving page have helped fund, I have however started to say more and more words, something which I could not do before.
My hobbies include donkey riding at our local EST sanctuary, which I do weekly. I have been riding since I was two so I'm pretty good now! I also enjoy going for walks with Mum and listening to loud music! I try to join in play with my brother and sisters, but sometimes it is just too hard for me to keep up, and having the understanding of any other girl my age, I sometimes get a little bit upset, and I wish to be more able bodied.
In the summer of 2011 we discovered the Footsteps Foundation which gives me a real good physio workout for three weeks at a time. We had to travel a very long way, to Oxford, but it was worth the trip - I got to do play in a thing called a 'spider' which helped the therapists improve my posture, and let me do things I could not normally do, such as kick a ball or walk on a treadmill. After being there I could hold my head up straight and started saying some words, something I'd never had the strength to do before. When we got home, my grandparents were very proud of me, and I was very proud of myself too!
Since Dad created this page I have been able to go to Footsteps twice a year, thanks to the generosity of family, friends and strangers alike. Footsteps treatment costs lots of pennies, even after help from the very kind Footsteps Foundation Trustees, and I have to stay in Oxford for three weeks at a time which costs a lot too as I have to stay somewhere appropriate to my needs. This year I have also started to attend Therapy In Praxis, near York. Being more local I can go there every week, but it still costs a great deal of money to visit, but Mum & Dad say they can see the changes already, even after only a few weeks!
Mum & Dad started and continue with this page and all the fundraising events they and friends do to ask if anyone can help us raise the money to be able to continue treatment at Footsteps and Therapy In Praxis. Mum says going there can help me reach my full potential. I think that means to achieve my dreams, and become a more able-bodied little girl, so I can play with all my friends and family more. If you donate through Just Giving for my therapy, in return I promise I will work extra hard and try my very best! Thankyou, love Grace xxx