For the last five years donkeys at a Leeds sanctuary have helped to transform little Grace McLoughlin’s life.
Several disabilities have left her unable to walk, sit unaided or talk, apart from with a few words.
However Grace has the same mental capacity as any other seven-year-old and gets frustrated when she can’t take part in the same activities.
She attends the Eccup donkey centre weekly to help improve her strength and control.
But Grace defied the odds and became the star of the show at the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust’s Summer Fair donkey display on Saturday.
Proud dad Daniel, from Ireland Wood, Leeds, said: “We were just shocked when they asked her to do it.
“We are really proud of her.
“The donkey sanctuary have helped us massively.”
“She is held in a good posture so it helps to improve her strength and is another step towards improving her core stability.”
Grace was born at 26 weeks and weighed just 1lb 14lb.
She has the rare genetic condition Beckwith Wiedmann Syndrome and she was later diagnosed with chronic lung disease and severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy caused by brain damage.
The Ireland Wood School pupil had nine operations in her first nine months of life, spending just two weeks at home.
Her parents are on a mission to raise thousands of pounds to pay for intense physiotherapy sessions which could eventually allow Grace to communicate and walk with a frame.
Funding from the NHS is not available to Grace but dozens of kind-hearted donations, totalling nearly £18,000, have enabled her to attend two three-week intense physio sessions at Footsteps in Oxford this year to improve her strength.
Daniel said that the sessions have already made a big different to his daughter’s life.
He added: “It’s a massive confidence boost to her because she learns to do new things and becomes capable of doing new things independently.
“It also improves her tone, strength and communication.
“Communication is a big issue because she can’t hold her head properly which means she can’t use a communication aid.
“It would just mean the world to her if she could.
“She gets very frustrated.”
As part of Grace’s fundraising her two grandmas are trekking from Skipton to Horsforth on Saturday.
To sponsor visit: www.justgiving.com/teams/2gchallenge
For more information about how to donate to Grace’s appeal email: email@example.com