A little girl who was given no chance of survival when she was born weighing just 2lb 4oz is doing a five-mile skate-athon to raise money for Children in Need.
When Hollie Andrews (11) from east Belfast was born at just 27 weeks in 2001 her outlook was bleak.
She spent several weeks in intensive care at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald and suffered four brain haemorrhages.
Unlike other premature babies, Hollie did not have the help of a specialist Giraffe Incubator — which acts like a mother's womb — as she was too ill to be transferred from the Ulster to the Royal, the only hospital which had one at the time.
Hollie battled for life and still has asthma, but otherwise she is a healthy and happy little girl, with a passion for ice skating.
The Bangor Ice Skating Club member said she is looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge at Dundonald’s Ice Bowl.
“I am raising money for Children in Need because other children might be sick and I want to help them get better,” she added.
“I love skating and playing ice hockey. I practise about twice a week.”
Hollie’s family and friends will
be cheering her on when she takes to the ice for her five-mile challenge.
Her proud mum, Jill Andrews, said: “It’s a big thing for Hollie to be able to do this challenge.
“She started skating two years ago after watching the Dancing On Ice TV show and she loves it.
“She is such a kind and loving child and wants to help other children.”
Castlereagh Mayor Michael Henderson said: “Hollie has demonstrated great enthusiasm and determination to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause.
“I would like to wish Hollie every success in her skating challenge and hope many other young people will be inspired by her dedication and commitment to help others.”
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/hollieandrews
This year’s annual Children in Need telethon is on Friday (November 16).
Every penny from the money raised or donated will go towards helping disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
Groups set to benefit include Waveney Youth Centre, Rasharkin Community Playgroup, Ligoniel Improvement Association, Whizz Kidz NI, St Matthews Special Needs Group and the Childrens Hospice NI.
To get a fund-raising pack visit the BBC website.