Three-year-old Sophia Hodkinson, from Bradford, is the youngest of five siblings and always determined to keep up with her brother and sisters’ antics, despite having cerebral palsy – a lifelong condition that affects movement and co-ordination

Thanks to her resilience and the specialist care she’s received at Leeds Children’s Hospital; Sophia is now able to walk unaided and can join in our Halloween Toddle - a 1km walk for toddlers at Temple Newsam.

Sophia’s mum Louise began to experience complications with her pregnancy at 24 weeks and spent time at three different hospitals being monitored before Sophia was born on the 10th November 2017 7 weeks later at Burnley hospital.

It wasn’t until July 2019, when Sophia was almost two years old, that she was referred to Leeds for an MRI scan after Louise noticed that her little girl was struggling with movement on her right side.

Sophia was diagnosed with Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a type of brain injury that affects premature babies, and has been cared for at Leeds Children’s Hospital since then.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Sophia has continued to visit hospital regularly for appointments and had life-changing botox treatment to help loosen Sophia’s hamstring muscle and improve her balance.

Louise, who is a ward sister at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, has been amazed by the progress her three-year old has made thanks to her treatment in Leeds:

“After watching Sophia struggle to walk independently for so long, I was overcome with emotion when she took her first steps without her walker in January. When we went in for a check-up after the treatment, Sophia really exceeded the doctors expectations, she’s defied the odds. It means so much to us that Sophia can take part in the Toddle, she’s so driven and has come along leaps and bounds, I’ll be so proud watching her join in the walk!”

You can support Sophia by donating to her fundraising page:

If you’d like to fundraise with your little ones at our Halloween Toddle, you can sign your tot up for free here.