Award winning Chloe Henderson, 10, becomes first disabled child to pass ballet exams
I am privileged in this job to meet some inspirational people.
And so it was that I knocked on the door of a suburban house in Gloucester last week and met one such inspirational young girl.
Life has thrown a fair few obstacles at Chloe Henderson.
She suffers from cerebral palsy and was told that she would never be able to walk.
And she would definitely not be able to pursue her dream of being a ballet dancer.
“Scratch that!” she told me, “I’m going to do ballet and I’m going to prove you wrong”, she said.
So she did and she has just become the first disabled child to pass her pre-primary ballet exams with the Royal Academy of Dance.
“When I do ballet, I kind of feel like I’m in a world where I’m not different”, she said as we sat in the garden of her parents’ home in Gloucester.
Tonight, Chloe has chosen a dress – it’s a green one but “not a hideous green” she insists – for the WellChild Awards attended by Prince Harry and Meghan.
She has won an award for the most inspirational girl in the age category 7-10 years.
Chloe also helps to care for her twin brother – who has a much more severe form of cerebral palsy.
Jack can’t walk and struggles to talk but the twins are very close.
Prince Harry has been a patron of the charity WellChild since 2007.
It helps seriously ill children and their families in the place where they can best thrive – their homes.
Chloe says that WellChild recognises that “even though we’re different, we are still special.”
And I would agree, there is something very special about this ten year old.
“Out of ten”, I ask, “how much are you looking forward to meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex?”
10, she answers and then pauses before adding, “ten million trillion”.
Which is quite a lot. And we hope she has the most fantastic night – in that green dress.