Maddie's story

I'm Maddie, and I'm 15 years old. I was born with a condition called Spina Bifida, which is caused by a gap or split in the spine. Essentially, the spinal cord does not form properly and may be damaged. My Spina bifida affects my lower limbs which means I experience a loss of sensation in the lower part of my body. This requires me to use a wheelchair.


My condition hasn’t really prevented me from doing anything I've set my heart on doing, other than sports, which I love, especially wheelchair basketball. I’ve always been determined to live as normal a life as I possibly can.

In 2018, Variety kindly funded a PER4MAX Thunder sports wheelchair for me. The chair has taken me to the next level with my basketball, so much so that I now have a chance of being selected for the senior GB Women's Wheelchair Basketball team.

Playing at this level, in this chair, has given me huge self-confidence, self-belief and the determination to inspire and succeed, not just as a sportswoman, but also as a person.

The impact on my family is that they feel sheer pride, not just at my determination but also at my achievements within the sport I love and the level I have now reached. I am now within reach of ‘living my dream’ by playing at next year’s Paralympics in Tokyo.