The amazing South Tyneside youngster who was never expected to walk - now she's winning dance competitions!
A South Tyneside girl has overcome all odds to become a champion dancer – despite living with a rare genetic condition.
The Hebburn 12-year-old has Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome which causes children to grow at an abnormal rate.
In Evie-Mai’s case, the right hand side of her body grows quicker than the left. She is waiting for an operation to have plates taken out of her right knee.
But despite that, she has just started life at comprehensive school and also competes in dance competitions. She takes part in contests all over the country and often wins, said her super-proud mum Siobhan.
"She is an inspiration,” said Siobhan. “She is resilient and I am so immensely proud of her. If someone had told me when she was a baby she would be doing this, I would be bowled over."
Evie-Mai competes with the Dancetastic dance school and will be competing in her next contest at Skipsea this month.
"But no matter whether she wins dance competitions or not, she is first in my eyes,” said Siobhan.
Evie-Mai’s syndrome must be monitored regularly and she may need operations every two years. Mum urged other people to immediately seek help if they suspect their child has any signs of Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome.
They include large body size, a large tongue, abdominal wall defects and unusual ear creases or pits.
“It is really important that awareness is spread,” said Siobhan. “More and more children are born with it.”
She spotted it in Evie-Mail when she researched the symptoms and she urged other parents to get help if they have any concerns.
Now they are back and we are on the lookout for entries which are as exceptional and inspiring as Evie-Mai.
Siobhan spoke to the Shields Gazette to reflect on a night her family will never forget.
"It was a massive surprise when she won and she has still got the trophy in her bedroom. To be honest, Evie-Mai never expected anything and we were humbled when we heard the stories of the other children in the awards.”
Siobhan urged people to enter this year’s awards and said: “If you have got a child or someone who deserves recognition for the struggles they have overcome. then nominate.
"It is a little bit of light for them and a bit of encouragement, and it is nice to be acknowledged.”
To nominate someone for an award, send your entries by email to: [email protected]
There are plenty of categories to choose from in this year’s Best of South Tyneside competition.
So take a look through and decide which one applies to your own favourite - and then be sure to nominate them using the nomination details elsewhere on the page.
Get your nomination in as soon as you can as that way, you know you’ve put an unsung hero in the running for honours.