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VIDEO: Illness video becomes global net sensation

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It was designed to be a family video to show how a young Sheffield girl copes with Brittle Bone Disease.

But Maleah Pegg’s description of how she gets on with life, despite all the problems, is going around the world.

Within two weeks of going online, the video of her chatting – and giggling – about her debilitating condition has been viewed in more than 100 countries.

“It’s a wonderful inspiring story of what one nine-year-old can do to raise awareness and it’s been fantastic to see the support the community has given us so far,” said her dad, Matt.

The family wanted to raise awareness of the condition for international Wishboneday, next Tuesday, when people are being asked to wear yellow.

Maleah, who lives in Hackenthorpe, has been looked after by a specialist team from Sheffield Children’s Hospital since being born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 3.

The video, called Me, Myself and OI, sees her chatting about how her bones are different, “like a bridge built with bad mortar. My bones break really, really easy. Sometimes I don’t do anything. They just break.”

The youngster tots up 34 fractures – to her neck, shoulders, arm, backbone, rib, hip and leg.

There is no cure, she tells the camera, against a soundtrack and with the use of graphics.

But Maleah is remarkably upbeat, telling how metal rods in her legs allow her to stand, how she gets around in a wheelchair, the help from a teaching assistant at Emmanuel Junior, and her love of swimming.

“I want to be a para-Olympian and win lots of gold medals!”

She is joined in the clip of almost eight minutes by her brothers, Zach, four, and Kai, seven.

All the words are her own. She was filmed on the family camera, then her mum, Abi, referred to a YouTube tutorial to put it all together.

“It was for me and Abi to show friends and people at work that she is normal person and she still has a sense of humour, but everybody seems to have picked up on it,” said Matt.

The video has been viewed over 16,000 times in the English language version and translations have been made into Spanish, Portuguese, with French, German and Italian versions on the way.

Maleah has become the “poster girl” for the condition, jokes her dad.

BT manager Matt is full of praise for Prof Nick Bishop, Europe’s only professor of paediatric bone disease, and his team at the Children’s Hospital . Maleah returns at least every 12 weeks for drugs that increase her bone density.

 

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