Leonie Hadley-Wilkinson, from Louth, was born three months early in August 2012, and due to her condition she was unable to move her limbs freely or without suffering pain - and the possibility of the youngster being able to walk seemed a million miles away.
However, following many months of fundraising efforts, Leonie’s family was able to self-fund a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation last February, and she has come on in leaps and bounds since then - although expensive specialist physiotherapy is ongoing, and continues to be essential to maintain her progress.
Following her daughter’s surprise nomination for the National Diversity Awards, in association with ITV News, Leonie’s mum, Vicky told the Leader: “We are over the moon and can not believe that she has even been nominated!
“It’s gone to show us the impact she’s having on people watching her since her self- funded SDR operation in February 2019. We would sincerely like to thank so many people for voting for her and nominating Leonie. It has truly touched us as a family.”
Vicky added that, thanks to Leonie’s physio, she is now able to sit independently, roll, and stand using parallel bars.
However, this vital physio-therapy costs around £1,000 a month - and could one day help little Leonie to walk.
• Visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/teamleonie to support her by donating.
• Visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/28047/ before the May 18 deadline to vote for Leonie to win the ‘Positive Role Model (Disability)’ prize at the National Diversity Awards. The shortlist will be announced on June 22.