Keelie Mollan refuses to let condition hold her back

York Press: Keelie Mollan with the electric wheelchair which is helping her to study health and social care at York College Keelie Mollan with the electric wheelchair which is helping her to study health and social care at York College

WHEN newborn Keelie Mollan’s weight dropped to less than 2lbs, doctors warned her parents she may not survive.

Born very prematurely at 27 weeks, her twin brother Reece died after two days, but Keelie continued to fight for life, gradually going from strength to strength.

Diagnosed with cerebal palsy, which affects mobility, she has faced numerous difficulties – including several operations to try to help her walk and daily physiotherapy sessions.

Now 16, Keelie has overcome these challenges and has gone on to study health and social care at York College with the aim of helping other people.

Her mum, Becki, said: “She has defied all the odds.

“Keelie is determined and older than her age and she knows what she wants in life. We’re all really proud of her.”

Keelie was also given an early Christmas present after a York charity donated an electric wheelchair worth thousands of pounds to help her with her independence and to move around college more easily.

The chair has come from York’s Deanne Gee Memorial Fund, which was set up by Joyce Gee in 1980 after her daughter, Deanne, who suffered from spinal muscular atrophy, died at the age of 14.

The fund has so far raised nearly £1,000,000 to pay for equipment for children with mental and physical disabilities across York and North Yorkshire.

Keelie, who also lives with her dad Clive and sister Keera in Foxwood, has thanked the charity for its support.

She said: “Sometimes having cerebal palsy affects me with day-to-day tasks. It’s quite difficult to maintain mobility.

“To have been given this wheelchair means a lot to me and makes my life a lot easier. I know I will be able to be more independent in the future.”

Of her positive attitude to life, Keelie said: “You have to be determined to never give up. At the end of the day, if you don’t face the challenges you don’t get the outcomes you want.”

Mrs Gee, who lives in Clifton, said they were pleased to help Keelie. “People apply to the fund through doctors and physios and if we have got the money we just get it for them. It’s life-changing. The things we have bought over the years, some have changed children’s lives completely.”

She thanked the many volunteers who have helped with fundraising.

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