A terminally ill Wigan girl now has proof that she has captured the hearts of the borough community.
Amelia Morris, who has Tay-Sach’s disease, won both the Best Dressed and Miss Popularity categories in this year’s Miss Wigan competition: a charity pageant for youngsters which raises funds for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
The Beech Hill three-year-old’s mum Whitney said: “Amelia really enjoyed the pageant. We entered her into the talent contest as we danced with her. Everyone was in tears at the end of the dance as she started to move her legs.
“Doctors said she could not move so for her to be able to do that is amazing. It must have taken all her effort to do that. I don’t know what it was that got her excited but she must have been to get moving.
“We are really grateful to everyone who voted for Amelia. She has got a lot of support from the people of Wigan who shared and liked her photo on Facebook to win Miss Popularity.”
As part of her fund-raising element Amelia was due to do a sponsored paddle, aided by her parents, but she was unable to complete it as she was recovering from a potentially deadly infection last month. But she did raise £50 for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
And a week after she was released from Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, she enjoyed a family trip to Disneyland Paris.
Whitney said: “She loved meeting all the Disney princesses. It was a big dream for us to take her there.
“We were lucky to be able to go as she took ill a week before. Doctors told us she only had a few days to live and we didn’t think she would come out of intensive care, but she defied all odds again.
“We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated to Amelia’s funds and allowed us to take her to Disneyland. We also want to thank Leonie Pemberton for organising the pageant and adapting it for Amelia’s needs. Not a lot of pageants accept disabled children due to the nature of the rounds.”
Tay-Sachs is a genetic disorder, which causes the deterioration of mental and physical abilities. Tragically it usually results in the death of the young patient by the age of four or five years.
Although experimental work is under way, there is currently no treatment or cure for Tay-Sachs disease. Patients receive care to ease the symptoms and extend life by reducing the chance of contracting infections.
To donate to Amelia’s fund, visit www.gofundme.com/86bwax5v