LITTLE Libby Lee was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was a toddler but despite barely being able to walk, she harbours a dream of becoming a dancer.

And her dream could be one step closer to reality after the eight-year-old was accepted by doctors to have a life-changing operation in America.

But the family face a £45,000 bill and Libby’s mum and dad, Toni and Dave, want as many people as possible to donate just £1 to the Libby Lee Trust, helping them change their daughter's life for the better.

The couple hope one day their daughter may be able to walk unaided around her home in Keston.

Toni runs the Greyhound pub in Commonside, Keston, with her husband and says co-ordinating the Walking to Happiness appeal has practically become a full time job.

The 41-year-old said: “Libby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was 11 months old which was both devastating and shocking news.

“Her outlook for the future was going to be a battle, if she was lucky she would be able to walk with assistance.

“The older she gets the harder she has to work. Physiotherapy and stretching every day help Libby to potentially avoid a lifetime in a wheelchair."

She added: “She has always been a happy and very determined little girl, who thinks she can do anything.”

News Shopper: Toni and Dave Lee with Libby Lee and her younger brother, six-year-old Ben

Tireless Libby has received therapy since the age of three and has gone from crawling to sitting independently, and then walking with a frame.

Toni explained: “We were told that if Libby did not walk by herself by the age of five, her chances of ever doing so were very slim.

“Libby’s hard work and determination have led to her exceeding doctor’s expectations.”

She added: “We still have a very long way to go. Libby cannot stand and balance by herself or walk without someone by her side to catch her when she loses her balance.”

But Libby has now been accepted to have the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operation on the other side of the Atlantic.

It is hoped the op will release the stiffness in her legs, helping the Green Street Green Primary pupil to sit, stand and walk more easily.

The operation in July and year-long aftercare in the UK means Libby will be able to walk without any assistance in her home, while using only one or two sticks outdoors.

'Like everyone else'

In a carefully hand-written letter, Libby says: “Without walking I feel really sad.

“I feel really sad because I want to dance by myself, but if I can’t walk I will miss out on all the fun bits. Also because I am the only one in the family with cerebral palsy and special needs.

“I feel really sad about that because I wanted to be like everyone else.

“Also at school, I want to play with my friends at lunchtime and normal playtime. I wanted to play their games but I can’t so I feel really sad.”

Donate a pound into the Libby Lee Trust account, using sort code 30-96-31 and account number 26377860.

For more information on the appeal, visit