Fundraisers set to step out to get little Sophia-Rose walking

AIM Sophia-Rose Cook with her mother Juliette Cook, right, and grandmother Diana Julian, left. Picture: Malcolm Wells (131106-8585)
AIM Sophia-Rose Cook with her mother Juliette Cook, right, and grandmother Diana Julian, left. Picture: Malcolm Wells (131106-8585)
Saxon, right, and handler Graham Howlett

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FOR toddler Sophia-Rose Cook, every step is a struggle.

Now, the two-and-a-half-year-old will be taking part in a sponsored walk to kick off her family’s bid to try to raise £60,000 for a life-changing operation in St Louis in the USA.

Sophia-Rose, of Farmside Gardens in Hilsea, was born seven weeks premature and suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.

At the moment, she walks using a Kaye walker and quad sticks.

She needs specialist surgery to improve her ability to walk.

Mum Juliette, 20, said surgery would change her daughter’s life.

‘At the moment she can’t do anything without her walker. All her friends are able-bodied,’ she said.

‘If the operation works, she’ll be able to play with her friends more. She won’t have the issues she has now.

‘She keeps apologising and saying “sorry mummy my legs are broken”. She gets really upset about it.

‘It will make a massive difference for her.’

Sophia-Rose is on permanent painkillers which she has to take three times a day in order to relieve the pain in her legs.

She will be joined by other toddlers of her age on the walk from Eastney Swimming Pool to Clarence Pier in Southsea, on Sunday, May 19.

‘She’s a really happy little girl,’ added Juliette. ‘For a long time it was put off because she wasn’t diagnosed until she was 20 months old. From there she’s got progressively worse.

‘Now there are so many problems coming with this.

‘It’s getting to a point where if we don’t start to try to do something ourselves, the damage will already have been done.

‘The best results are seen between the ages of two and four.’

And Juliette said she has had a lot of support from family and friends.

‘Everybody is behind us. Everyone is up for it and really looking forward to it,’ she said.

‘It’s going to be a good day as long as the weather holds out.’

To make a donation visit justgiving.com/jvc92.