Katie To Defy Disability At Junior Manchester Run

Great Comeback 3

Enter the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run at: Greatrun.org/Manchester

A schoolgirl with cerebral palsy will defy the odds to take on the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run with the use of her walking frame.

12-year-old Katie Holmes, from Denton in Tameside, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of four and has always relied on a wheelchair or a walking frame.

The condition is life-long and affects her movement and co-ordination. It was caused by a bleed on the brain after she was born prematurely at 28 weeks.

She has undergone major surgery to help her in her aim to be able to walk independently, but still relies on the use of a frame and chair for long distances.

Following a pioneering operation at the age of seven, Katie's legs then began to decline again as she reached age 10 and she underwent further surgery called femoral osteotomy to reset her legs and put metal plates in her thigh.

Now that her left leg has also began to deteriorate, she may need further surgery in the future but is determined not to let her condition define her.

Katie, who loves taking part in sports such as climbing, abseiling and canoeing, sees everything she does as an achievement and has signed up to the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May to encourage people to look beyond her disability.

Katie's mum Emma, 33, said: “Katie was born at 28 weeks weighing 1lb 5oz and was delayed in crawling and walking.

“At four years old she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and we were told she would need to rely on the use of a frame and a wheelchair.

“She would walk on her toes and her feet turned in a lot so she underwent an operation to cut nerves in her spine that sent signals to her brain.

“Following this surgery, she needed another procedure and had to learn how to walk again and go through physiotherapy every single day.

“Her condition then got worse when she was 10 as her legs started to turn inwards so she had metal put into her thigh bone, which was a huge operation.

“Throughout her condition, Katie has used a wheelchair for longer distances which meant she struggled to make friends as she was always left out and couldn't play out with other children.

“Despite going through so many operations in a short time, she is a very positive person who says she wants people to look at her beyond her cerebral palsy and see she is just a normal little girl who wants to make every day a good day.

“This is one of the reasons why she wanted to take part in the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run, like so many other children.

“She wants other children to look at her and see her as an inspiration as she has never wanted her disability to get in the way.”

Katie will struggle with walking for all of her life and relies on physiotherapy throughout to make what should be simple tasks a lot easier for her.

Through all of her operations, Katie and her parents have fundraised to allow her to go through private physiotherapy sessions.

She will take on the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run as part of this fundraising. The event features over 1,000 children from ages 3-15 years old, who take on a city centre route, starting and finishing on Portland Street.

It also takes place on the same day as the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, meaning all ages and abilities can take on a challenge, whatever their pace or motivation.

Katie, who is a pupil at Denton Community College, said: “Myself and my mum came up with the great idea of running the Junior Run because I want to show people that no matter what hurdle is put in front of them, anything is possible.

“People say to me I am an inspiration which I get embarrassed at because I am just trying to be the best version of me.

“It might take me a little longer to get to the finish line, but I will do it.”

Support Katie's fundraising at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katieholmes

Enter the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run at: Greatrun.org/Manchester