This week, we want to help a young girl who is about to lose the one thing she loves most in the world. And we want to help her keep it.
When Katie was 6 years old, she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. During the past 4 years, this has meant endless joint injections, blood tests and medication with awful side effects. She needed a wheelchair for a little while, and was bullied quite badly. She missed a lot of school and was also home schooled for 6 months because her health became so bad.
At age 9, the medication caused her to go into puberty prematurely, which caused even more bullying and completely shattered her confidenece. Her mum said she spent most of the time shut in her room.
Throughout this whole ordeal, Katie has been attending a stage school called Stagecoach each Saturday morning. And on Saturdays, Katie is like a different child. Her confidence is high, her teacher's reports are fantastic and she has lovely friends around her. She even recently sang solo at a special performance.
Last year Katie received the all clear and her arthritis is in remission, which is amazing news. However, it is also means they no longer received a disability allowance for her. That was the money Katie’s mum used to use to help pay for her stage school. And without, it, the fees are beyond their means.
Katie's teacher told me that Katie is one of the most dedicated children she has ever taught, and never complains - even if she suspects Katie is not well.
Stagecoach has been the one shining light in Katie's life during a very difficult few years and we want to make sure she can carry on.