Freya Petherbridge, 12, has a condition called periventricular leukomalacia which is caused by a brain injury to the baby during pregnancy. She has a mild form of cerebral palsy which makes it difficult for her to stand and causes muscle spasms.
“She had delayed mobility and didn’t walk until she was three years old,” said Freya’s mum, Sarah Petherbridge, 49.
“We just had to wait and see what she could and couldn’t do but she has amazed us all.”
Freya joined Barnsley Youth Choir when she was seven after seeing an advert for auditions, and discovered a love for singing.
She is now in the senior choir and has earned a place to sing with the choir at the World Choir Games in Belgium.
To help fundraise for the trip, Freya and Sarah will walk 96 miles through Scotland over a route which will take them ten days.
“I have always wanted to do the walk along the West Highland Way and when Freya mentioned the World Choir Games I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to fundraise to help send the choir to Belgium.
“When Freya said she wanted to come too I thought it would be a challenge for her but if she is determined to do something she will do it.”
The walk will take the pair ten days to complete as they walk through the Scottish countryside; through Fort William and alongside Loch Lomand.
“On our shortest route we will walk seven miles and our longest route will be 15 miles, so it’s definitely going to be challenging,” added Sarah, of Park View, Royston. “Freya has never wanted to be defined by her condition; she has never used it as an excuse and she gets really frustrated when she thinks she can’t do something.
“The walk will be challenging for me, but I think it will be more challenging for Freya but I know she will do it. She loves the choir - it’s probably the best thing that has come into her life and I know with the motivation of helping the choir to get to the games that she will just keep going until we finish the walk.
“I’m looking forward to spending some time with her - we are really close and there is no one else I would rather do the walk with.”
Freya’s determination has earned her a nomination for this year’s Young Champions awards.
“I am so pleased for her,” added Sarah. “She deserves it. She doesn’t let anything stop her and I don’t know how she manages to stand for long periods of time in the choir but she does. She loves the choir so much and this will give her more motivation to do the walk.”
Sarah and Freya will set off on the West Highland Way in April.