COURAGEOUS youngster Lillia Reading has defied the odds to stand on her own two feet - despite doctors fearing she would never be able to walk.
The three-year-old from Hackenthorpe has undergone 13 gruelling operations after being found to have a rare condition at birth.
With the help of medical teams at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and further afield, the determined little girl has battled to prove the doubters wrong and is able to get about on splints, attending the same nursery as her friends.
Her parents Katie and Nick Reading are so grateful for the excellent treatment that Lillia has received they and their friends have organised a fun night and charity auction to raise money for the children’s hospital’s charity appeal.
Katie, aged 31, a hairdresser who works at Headwork in Gleadless, said: “Lillia’s condition affects her legs, feet and eyes.
“Everyone at the Children’s Hospital has been fantastic, especially Dr John Burke and Dr Mark Flowers, who have been just amazing.
“We were also referred to a specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“Some of the greatest experts in the world are studying Lillia’s condition to help research new ways to treat the condition.
“We just wanted to give something back, something that will allow the wonderful people at Sheffield Children’s Hospital to help others.
“Because of their help, she is now able to attend Birley Nursery and she can’t wait to move up to the big school in September.”
Lillia had a very complicated start to life.
Her mum was 20 weeks pregnant when she was informed by doctors her baby was likely to be born in the breach position.
Then, when Lillia eventually came along, doctors discovered she had a club foot.
At birth, doctors feared Lillia may never walk.
After tests they confirmed she was suffering from Muscular Myopathy - a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy.
The condition means that instead of the normal 15 muscles in her leg, Lillia from Halcyon Close, Hackenthorpe, has just two.
It also means while some muscles may be wasted, others are enlarged - leading to complications such as weakness of muscles.
Further problems can be caused with joints, restricting their range of movement and often causing deformity.
A lack of muscular support for the spine may also cause spinal curvatures.
All of the tickets for the charity auction, which is set to take place at Club Baize, Beighton, on Saturday have long since sold out.
And no one is looking forward to the party more than Lillia.
Her mum said: “Besides the auction there will be singing, dancing, balloon-making and body popping.
“Lillia is so excited and is constantly talking about it to me, her dad and her brother Harley, who is seven.”