Jumping for joy

Emily Bonney (12), of Albany Avenue South Shore, suffers from the chronic lung disease cystic fibrosis but is taking part in an international cheerleading competition to raise funds for the disease's main charity.   PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-6-2011

Emily Bonney (12), of Albany Avenue South Shore, suffers from the chronic lung disease cystic fibrosis but is taking part in an international cheerleading competition to raise funds for the disease's main charity. PIC BY ROB LOCK'28-6-2011

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EMILY Bonney is a little girl with a really big heart.

And, despite the fact she has had a tough start in life, she is jumping for joy as she gears up to help others.

The 12-year-old, from South Shore, was born with cystic fibrosis – a condition which causes thick mucus to build up around her lungs.

Emily and her family have already held fundraising events in order to buy specialist equipment, but, for the past couple of years, have turned their efforts to helping others with the genetic condition.

Her next fundraiser will be when she takes part in a cheerleading competition in Telford next month with Blackpool Scorpions, and performs a sponsored solo in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Emily, her mum Lesley and dad Dave have also organised party nights and fun days. Emily has also performed solo to raise money for the charity before.

Proud mum Lesley said: “Emily never lets her cystic fibrosis stop her.

“Sometimes she’s not so well, but she doesn’t let it get her down.

“She is very sporty – she loves doing anything active. She loves to go on the trampoline, she is just never still. All the sport she does definitely helps her keep the condition under control.

“The Cystic Fibrosis Trust needs £6m to carry on the gene therapy work it has been doing and research into the condition. When Emily heard this, she said she wanted to do something to raise more money for the trust.

“She said she really wanted to help other people with cystic fibrosis. We are proud of the way she wants to help others.”

The Bonneys, of Albany Avenue, have had a tough time over the last few years. Lesley was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2005, which left her with epilepsy and other medical problems.

Dave had to give up work to care for his wife and Emily, but the family, including Emily’s older sister Danielle, have been determined not to let things get them down.

Dave said: “Emily always gets a bit run-down after her intravenous anti-biotics and drugs, she gets really bad headaches and cold sores, but she just tries to carry on.

“The way she keeps so active does help with her condition. She does really well and we’re really proud of her.”

To sponsor Emily, log on to www.justgiving.com/emily-jo-bonney1.