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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Carlisle girl who lost limbs to meningitis is now blade runner

Fearless Olivia Story has always refused to let her disability hold her back.

Olivia Story photo
Olivia Story with mum Kim Brown and dad Mike Story

And, having already mastered swimming, cycling and karate, she is now turning her attention to the athletics track.

Thanks to her swish new running blades – designed and made especially for her – she has found yet another talent to add to her strengths.

The 10-year-old Carlisle girl, who lost both legs and an arm to meningitis as a baby, has been testing out her impressive pink blades at the city’s Sheepmount Stadium.

Inspired by the Commonwealth Games, she can already reach a fair speed and is loving every minute of it.

Mum Kim Brown explained that the blades have been made by a specialist prosthetics company called Blatchford.

“They don’t make the blades for children, just adults, so these are bespoke,” she said. “These are only the third ones they’ve made and we are trialling them for free.

“She loves them; she still uses her other legs but these are great because they are a lot lighter for sport. She can even go paddling in them whereas she can’t with the others.

“We got them three or four weeks ago and thought they might take a bit of getting used to but she’s fine with them.

“The first day she got them she was walking round town in them. Then we went to knock on her friend’s door and she was so impressed.”

Olivia, who has been hooked on the Commonwealth Games coverage in recent weeks, said she really likes the new blades because they are so much lighter and easier to run on. She also loves the pink design, which she chose herself.

The youngster has been offered the use of the Sheepmount track so she can perfect her running technique and is already planning to enter the Great Cumbrian Run family fun run later this year.

Dad Mike Story added: “She loves sports. She only recently started karate and is already really good at it.

“She hasn’t had the blades long but is great on them. She’s pretty fast too. Nothing holds her back. She’s amazing.”

Representatives from manufacturer Blatchford are coming to meet Olivia at the limb centre, at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle this week, to get her feedback on the blades.

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