A MUM from Sheffield is trying to raise £50,000 to take her daughter to the United States in a bid to help her walk for the first time.
Two-year-old Lillie Mansell cannot sit up, talk clearly or even eat properly.
But the youngster from Parson Cross, who has cerebral palsy, now has the chance of an operation to change her life.
However, her mum Keighly needs to raise tens of thousands of pounds to take her to a specialist hospital in the USA for the treatment.
Keighly, of Lindsay Avenue, said: “This would mean the world to us.
“It would give Lillie some independence - walking is so important.
“At the moment she is just learning to crawl. She is at the age where she thinks she can walk, but sets off and falls over.”
Lillie has passed the first set of tests to clear her for selective dorsal rhizotomy - an intricate procedure to cut some of the nerves in her spine, reducing stiffness in her legs.
She would have the operation in a children’s hospital in St Louis, Missouri.
Four-year-old Ollie Saxton, from Sheffield. underwent the operation at the same hospital in March and is now walking with just a pair of sticks.
Ollie touched the hearts of readers of The Star, who donated much of the vast sum to send the little lad from Intake to America.
It paid off - and doctors think Ollie will be walking independently by Christmas.
Keighly now hopes the people of Sheffield will give her daughter the same chance.
Lillie’s struggles started at the beginning of her life.
She was not breathing on delivery and was rushed straight to intensive care.
Keighly said: “We were told she would never walk, talk, or cry. They said she would have to be fed through a tube.
“But she has proved them wrong on so many counts. She is doing so well.
“But not being able to walk holds her back so much.”
Lillie’s cerebral palsy means her feet turn inwards and she cannot fully stretch her legs.
Doctors hope the operation will remove the stiffness for ever and enable Lillie to live a normal life.
n To give Lillie the chance of a lifetime, log on to www.justgiving.com/lillies-wish-to-walk. Lillie is also being backed by Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids Appeal.