DETERMINED Katelin Toastivine is hoping to encourage cyclists from across Hampshire to take part in a charity cycle.
The 13-year-old was diagnosed with the genetic condition ataxia-telangiectasia which causes severe disabilities as well as other diseases.
And Katelin is asking cyclists from her home town of Gosport and others from around the county to take part in a 437-mile cycle in Ireland, organised by A-T Society.
Her mum Danielle, of Blanchard Avenue said: ‘A-T is caused by a mutation to a gene which is hidden in DNA.
‘It only reveals itself when two carriers have a child together.
‘Neither Katelin’s dad Anthony nor I had any idea we were carriers, although the gene itself will have been passed down through generations of our families.’
Katelin was diagnosed in 2009 but her symptoms started when she was two.
Danielle, who has three other daughters, added: ‘We noticed from two years old Katelin was wobbly and a bit clumsy. She was very prone to infections and caught every bug going around.
‘At nine, Katelin got leukaemia and doctors reviewed her symptoms.
‘We finally got the diagnosis of A-T and found out it doesn’t just cause disability, it can also trigger cancer.
‘Katelin is also at high risk of lung disease and her life expectancy is only 26 years.’
Currently, there is no cure for A-T but the A-T Society looks at research and supporting families.
Katelin wanted to support the charity that has helped her and her family but she is unable to do the cycle.
So, she wants to encourage others to do the event for her.
The Bay House pupil said: ‘The charity has helped me and my family a lot. One of the ways it has helped is by getting me equipment which helps with my disability.
‘I wanted to encourage others to do the cycle for me because the money will help other families which are going through the same thing.
‘I have put posters in my school so people can sign up.’
For more information visit atsociety.org.uk/events