A GIRL of 11 who has used a wheelchair for most of her life walked down the catwalk as a model at Fashion Week yesterday.
Katie Renshaw was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which impairs muscle co-ordination, as a baby.
Three years ago she had a nine-hour operation to straighten her feet and legs at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool. After another operation, and intensive physiotherapy, she took her first unaided steps last year.
Yesterday she was all smiles as she modelled clothes for the Panda brand, using a stroller on the catwalk but only for support.
Katie, from Runcorn, Cheshire, is signed to Zebedee Management and has already done photoshoots for River Island and Matalan.
Her mother Clare, 43, said: ‘She keeps saying how proud she is of herself.
‘She’s been through everything she’s been through, and now she’s able to do something as massive as this.’
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy affects movement and co-ordination for sufferers.
The condition happens if a baby’s brain does not develop normally while in the womb, or is damaged during or soon after birth.
This damage may be caused by infections, toxin exposure or medical negligence.
It affects around one in 400 children born in the UK to some extent.
In the US, approximately 8,000-to-10,000 infants are born with the condition each year.
Sufferers may develop limb and foot deformities, as well as curvature of the spine.
Swallowing and respiratory difficulties can also occur.
Treatment includes medication and physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
Surgery may also be necessary.
Source: NHS England