A BRAVE South Yorkshire youngster will be walking tall after receiving a special gift through The Star’s 12 Days of Christmas appeal.
Kira Yates, aged six, from Belton, Doncaster, was born a rare condition called Apert Syndrome, which causes malformations of the skull, face, hands and feet.
Because one of her feet is bigger than the other, Kira needs specially-made shoes and has always wanted a pair of pink shoes or trainers like her friends.
Now Kira’s wish is coming true thanks to Help A Child Have A Chance, who are paying for a £300 pair of bespoke shoes as well as another gift worth £500.
The 12 Days of Christmas campaign offers needy youngsters across the region the chance of receiving a share of £10,000.
Nominations flooded in following an appeal last month and, over the next two weeks, the winners are being revealed.
Kira, who lives with mum Michelle, dad Mark, and older brother and sister Victoria and Ryan, was nominated by family friends Nigel Shooter and Kelly Hicks.
Nigel said the youngster is allowed one pair of shoes to be made on the NHS, but these are large, Dr Marten-style boots.
“Kira doesn’t like having to wear these shoes and would love a pair of pink shoes to be made for her or a pair of trainers like the other girls she knows,” he said.
“To have a pair of shoes specially made for Kira it costs £300.
“It would be the most amazing Christmas gift ever for Kira to have a pair of shoes that she can be proud to wear.”
Apert syndrome affects around one in 160,000 children. Kira was born with a very tall frontal lobe, her fingers and toes were fused together and her thumbs were not formed. She also had a cleft palate and a remnant of spina bifida.
Kira has undergone many operations, including surgery at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. The little battler attended 27 appointments in one month when she was younger.
In June 2010 she underwent a procedure to treat a Chiari malformation, which meant her head was falling forwards, away from her spine, leaving her at risk of paralysis.
The operation failed on two occasions, as the screws used to hold her neck together fell out. Completing the surgery again would be too risky, so Kira now has to wait for the fusion to take place.
Consequently she can’t jump, ride a bike or do any sports or activities which could make her neck jolt.
“Kira is a little girl who despite her disabilities never complains and never stops smiling. She is an amazing child,” Nigel said.
n See tomorrow’s Star for another 12 Days of Christmas winner