An inspirational youngster from the county has won a prestigious trophy for her sporting achievements.
Rachel Hooley, from Cramlington, had a successful heart transplant in February 2012 and last week headed to La Chapelle D’Abondance to participate in the Nicholas Cup, which runs alongside the Winter World Transplant Games.
The nine-year-old took part in the competition just 23 months after having her life-saving heart transplant due to dilated cardiomyopathy – and was delighted to be awarded the Nicholas Cup for her progression, effort, perserverance and the will to succeed in her own personal challenge.
The Nicholas Cup was founded in memory of Nicholas Green, a young American boy who was killed in Italy and whose family donated his organs for the benefit of others.
The cup is reserved for transplant children who have never skied, aged from eight to 17 years.
Rachel, who came fifth in the slalom, said: “ I felt very nervous as I stood at the top, but just wanted to give it a go.
“I can’t believe I won the Nicholas Cup, I hope that my donor will be proud of me.”
Rachel’s mum Eve said: “Rachel is a true inspiration to all that know her, she is determined to live her life to the full.
“She makes us proud everyday.
“She never questions why me, she just lives her life as best she can.”
Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk for more details about signing the organ donor register.