Illness is no barrier for judo star Keira (11)
An 11 year-old girl from Seaton Delaval has been battling with Cystic Fibrosis all of her life, yet she refuses to let this disease prevent her from achieving her goals.
Keira Pentolfe was diagnosed with CF when she was just 3 weeks old and attends the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle every six weeks, where she is seen by consultant Physio therapists, dietitians and has to endure a raft of tests including a lung function test, blood work and x-ray's.
To keep her body in check Keira has to take a vast amount of tablets (40 per day) but more importantly she keeps extremely active with her judo training which her consultant says is excellent for her CF as it keeps her lungs active and healthy.
Competing at the prestigious British Judo National championships in London, Keira won three consecutive fights with maximum points in a highly competitive group of the best girls from across Great Britain in the U36kg category.
Reaching the final knockout stages of the competition, she narrowly missed the final after losing out in golden score, but
Keira returned with a fantastic bronze medal and the privilege of being ranked third in the country.
Keira started Judo at the age of seven and has been a very successful competitor culminating in her national recognition. Her coach from Battlehill Judo Club, Malcolm Young, said: “Keira is no different to any other student at the club (except maybe her medal tally), she is an exceptional student who works hard and enjoys her Judo sessions and has become a key member of our judo family.
“Keira has travelled with the club to compete both nationally and internationally. This year she has won nine gold, two silver and four bronze medals and most of her friends at the club and at home do not realise that she has CF.”
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic condition affecting more than 10,500 people in the UK. People with cystic fibrosis experience a build-up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs, digestive system and other organs, causing a wide range of challenging symptoms affecting the entire body.