Young dance champion with rare genetic condition in line for honours at Best of South Tyneside Awards

A South Tyneside youngster who was feared to may never walk has defied the odds to win a dancing competition.

By Sophie Brownson
Saturday, 06 July, 2019, 06:00

Those were the words of proud mum Sibohan Davis after seeing her daughter Evie-Mai Davis overcome a rare genetic condition to become a dance champion.

Evie-Mai Davis has been nominated for a Best of South Tyneside Award.

Her condition means the right side of her body grows quicker than the left and she has already had to undergo an operation to put plates in her knee to stunt the growth of her right leg.

The plates were removed when she was seven, but the procedure might have to be carried out again depending on how she grows.

Not only does it cause an increase in bone and muscle growth, in Evie-Mai’s case on her right hand side, it also means tissue grows too quickly, which puts youngsters at a 60% higher risk than other children of developing cancer.

When she was a baby her parents feared she might never walk - but the brave youngster defied the odds to compete in dance competitions.

Evie-Mai Davis has spent time in hospital after being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.

At the age of two mum Siobhan enrolled her daughter in dancing and she now dances four times a week with the Dancetastic School of Dance in Jarrow.

And now the youngster’s bravery has been recognised with a nomination for the Child of Courage Award in this year’s Best of South Tyneside Awards.

Proud mum Siobhan said: “Children are stronger than any parent can imagine and with the right support they can achieve anything.

“Evie-Mai has only been competing in dance for a year, but she is doing absolutely brilliant at it.

Evie-Mai Davis has undergone surgery to help improve her condition.

“She has won a place in the Rapunzle panto in Whitley Bay in August and also secured the part of the Artful Dodger in a Dancetastic production at the Customs House in South Shields.”

Dancing helps with her flexibility as Evie-Mai has not yet needed to have physiotherapy – but when she reaches her early teens she may require further surgery.

Despite her health struggles, Evie-Mai has dreams of making it on London’s West End.

Her mum added: “Her best achievement is overcoming the challenges she has with her legs and balance.

Evie-Mai Davis is a young dance star.

“You can put a trophy on things, but I think that is her best achievement – never letting anything stop her.

“I am so proud. She has proved to herself that she can do anything if she puts her mind to it – and that any child can do anything as long as they get the right support.

“She has never let her condition hold her back.”

How you can submit nominations into the Best of South Tyneside Awards:

Is there an inspiring youngster, an incredible sportsperson, role model, or fundraiser who deserves praise?

Is there a child who has shown remarkable courage in the face of adversity?

Evie-Mai Davis has been recognised for her bravery in overcoming a rare condition to become a dance champion.

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Is there an unsung hero who goes the extra mile to help their community without ever seeking praise?

We want to know about them all for this year’s awards which will be taking nominations until Friday, August 30.

That’s loads of time to put forward your favourites – and once we pass that deadline, the judges will meet to draw up a shortlist in each category on September 3.

Then it is on to the grand finale which will be held on Thursday, September 19, at the Roker Hotel.

The Best of South Tyneside awards, this year, have the support of Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Barbour, JML, Harlow Print, UTS, and Warmseal.

The finals evening will also feature the Young Performer category.

To nominate, send your entries by email to: lynn.wild@jpimedia.co.uk.

The categories:

Green Champion of the Year.

Child of Achievement.

Fundraiser of the Year.

Entrepreneur of the Year.

Local Hero Award.

Sporting Excellence/Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Sports Team of the Year.

Community Champion.

Student of the Year.

Community Group.

Small Business of the Year.

Large Business of the Year.

Child of Courage

Young Performer of the Year.

Lifetime Contribution.

Special Recognition.

Evie-Mai Davis has been nominated for a Child of Courage award.