Seven-year-old Rhiannon Rainbow has been busy fitting in some last minute rehearsals for a big concert this weekend in London.
Singing star, Rhiannon Rainbow will be travelling to the capital city tomorrow to take part in the leading classical music event, The Children Helping Children concert in aid of a cause that Rhiannon knows all about.
The ‘inspirational’ concert gives talented young musicians the chance to perform at the Cadogan Hall in London, to help raise vital funds for HemiHelp, a national charity that helps the families of children affected by Hemiplegia.
The charity’s royal patron Princess Alexandra will also be attending the concert and Rhiannon has the special privilege of presenting the Princess with a posy.
Rhiannon knows all about the support HemiHelp provides, as she herself has left-sided Hemiplegia after she suffered a stroke following a premature birth.
Hemiplegia affects one child in every 1,000. The lifelong disability is caused by damage to the brain and the effects are like a stroke. It leads to weakness and a lack of control on one side of the body, but the physical severity will vary from one person to the next.
Rhiannon was diagnosed with Hemiplegia when she was only four-years-old. The condition affects her ability to walk when her muscles stiffen in the cold. She also has trouble with her vision and can’t see properly from either eye. Her left arm is also weaker meaning she can’t use it as well.
Rhiannon, who has a twin sister Lola, said: “I can’t always do everything that my friends can and sometimes this upsets me. I love singing and it will be good to meet other people like me.”
Rhiannon’s mum Hayley has to help walk Rhiannon to and from school every day.
Rhiannon and Lola both attend Bourne Westfield Primary School, where sister Lola helps to support Rhiannon.
Although Rhiannon sometimes struggles at school, she still enjoys taking part in all of the school’s activities including PE and swimming and is part of the choir.
Hayley is excited for Rhiannon to be taking on her first big performance on her own.
She said: “The HemiHelp charity has been a huge help to use and this is a fantastic opportunity for Rhiannon to do something she loves whilst meeting other children with hemiplegia. It will be great for her to do something on her own.”
Rhiannon will be performing with the HemiHelp Choir, a group of young members like Rhiannon that have hemiplegia.