A young Wigan pageant queen with a string of competition victories is raising money to help beat the lethal disease from which she almost died as a baby.
Caitlin Whalley has had an incredible run of triumphs in some of the region’s biggest events since she started competing six months ago.
After being encouraged to enter her first event in aid of youngster Lexi-Mae Brown who suffers from a rare disease she has gone on to win titles including Little Miss Wigan Community, Miss Rainbow Beauty and Miss Lancashire Rose.
As pageant entrants have to raise money for charity as part of the competitions the 10-year-old, of Ince Green Lane, Lower Ince, has been inspired to start working to help the Meningitis Foundation.
The St Patrick’s Primary School pupil contracted meningitis B aged five months and spent seven weeks in hospital in Wigan and Manchester.
Mum Kim, 47, said: “I’m very proud of her. She loves competing and you can tell from her reaction that she doesn’t expect to win.
“For each event you have to raise money for different charities and she’s doing quite well at that too. Usually the pageants have their own charities but for Miss Wigan Community she could choose her own and obviously meningitis is very close to her.
“We’ve only just started fund-raising really but we’ve already got about £240. Now when we’re doing anything we try to take a tub for the Meningitis Foundation.
“It all started last September when a friend of ours did a pageant to help Lexi-Mae and we decided Caitlin would enter for a bit of fun. She really enjoyed it so we looked for bigger ones and it just escalated from there. It just seems like every one she enters she wins.”
Caitlin will compete in a major competition in Blackpool for which she has been made an ambassador, with the winner getting to compete in the US. She will also battle it out for a spot in a European contest at Disneyland Paris in Face of the North West in Bolton in June.
However, to join the international pageant scene Caitlin will require sponsorship and Kim is hoping Wigan individuals and businesses will come forward to help out.
Caitlin has also been raising money for Wigan and Leigh Hospice, Headway and The Christie but Kim says it is the work for the Meningitis Foundation that is close to the family’s hearts.
For details visit www.justgiving.com/kim-whalley1