“Every deaf child should have the opportunity to access the kind of help that Mia has had from Auditory Verbal UK and if I can raise enough money for one or two to at least have an initial assessment that will be worth it.”

Claire Vincent is a mother of three children, including her youngest Mia who has Charge syndrome a rare genetic condition which affects different parts and functions of the body, most commonly sight and hearing.

Claire also works full time, runs a business with her husband and like many other parents has been juggling the demands of life in lockdown before the schools reopened.

Now to add to this she has taken on the challenge of the iconic London Landmarks Half Marathon due to take place through the capital in August and raise money for AVUK to help other deaf babies and children.

She explained: “Mia is an amazing bright funny and brave little girl who has a number of additional needs including hearing loss. Her early years were very challenging; managing her medical needs, constant trips to hospital and getting the therapy and support she needed in place. AVUK were a lifeline and supported us through those difficult times”.

“We started attending sessions with them just before Mia’s 2nd birthday and they have been amazing. They helped us understand the importance of early intervention. They have never underestimated Mia’s abilities. They have worked with Mia’s multi-sensory impairment and adapted her therapy to take into account her vision, hearing and balance difficulties.”

In her incredibly busy life part of Claire’s own way of coping has been to ensure she has time for herself with exercise central to this.

“I started running for my own health and wellbeing,” she said. “And it has truly been a life saver. It keeps me fit, means I have a space to think, reduces stress and anxiety, gives me a real sense of achievement and has especially helped me through lockdown.

“Now I’m delighted that I can use it to help raise money for AVUK who have always been there to support Mia and us as a family.”

Mia is now nine and at mainstream school. She loves pink and girlie things and continues to defy the odds.

Claire said: “Mia continues to challenge people’s expectations of her and I will always push for her to have every opportunity. We were so lucky to have AVUK and the support from the bursary scheme at a time when finances were strained.

“As a deaf children with additional needs, life can be challenging for Mia and learning to listen and speak has helped her so much. I just want every deaf child to have the opportunities that she has had.”

You can support Claire here  and find out how we support all families through our bursary scheme.

If you want to join Claire and run the London Landmarks Half Marathon to help deaf children learn to listen and talk find out more.

Read Mia's story.