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  • Last Modified: 08 June 2017 04:34

Maya, 2 will join family for fun run in new wheelchair!

When Fay Dovey and Aaron Ratcliffe join 6,000 people for the Perkins Great Eastern Fun Run, they will be taking along their toddler Max, one, and daughter Maya, two.

The couple are raising money for Shine, the charity that has been with them "every step of the way” since Maya was born on 12 October, 2011 - with Spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Maya will be in her first self-propelling wheelchair and the Whittlesey family is hopeful that the toddler may be able to wheel herself, or even walk, over the finish line on 12 October, the day she also celebrates her third birthday.

Spina bifida is a fault in the development of the spine and surrounding vertebrae, which leaves a gap or split in the spine. Hydrocephalus is a condition where fluid accumulates around the brain.

The two-year-old, who was born five weeks premature, has survived five operations and meningitis and continues to overcome every hurdle.

Fay said: "Before Maya was born we were told to expect the worst as Maya was unlikely to survive the birth, and if she did, we would have very little time with our daughter. We had planned her funeral.”

But the "happy, smiley and clever” little girl has been defying doctors.

Fay said: "Maya is the most independent, strong-minded little lady I know. She is determined to do everything she puts her mind to. Nothing is going to stop Maya achieving her dreams.”

Last year the family took part in the fun run and raised £690 for Shine. This year, they want to raise even more,

Fay said: "Without Shine, we would not have our family. Shine has been there since day one of Maya’s diagnosis. The support, information and advice at every step of the way has been second to none. Without it, our son Max would not have been possible.

"The money we raise will allow Shine to support other families who need their help.”