Christie Leigh?s areal little winner
By HUGH KEARNEY
BY most measures, Christie Leigh Fuller should not be alive.
The effervescent little Kingscliff girl was born three months premature, with chronic lung disease. She spent the whole first year of her shaky life in hospital and has been on life-support 11 times since.
At birth she weighed 2.12 kilograms. At 10 she now weighs just 20 kilograms and has only 30 per cent lung capacity.
Only recently she managed to come off the oxygen bottle which had been her constant companion. The thing is, on Tuesday she flies to Sydney to represent the North Coast in shot-put!
Christie Leigh has been selected for the Athletes With Disability (AWD) team to compete at the All School State Athletics Championships in Sydney.
In AWD competition, athletes are scaled against the world record for their particular disability and, crucially, must better their performance at each level of competition to progress to the next.
A student at the Support Unit at Murwillumbah East Public School, Christie Leigh won selection to the district titles at Cudgen where she threw the two-kilogram shot two metres, bettering her previous best distance by 40 centimetres.
At the regional finals in Coffs Harbour, Christie Leigh placed third, earning her the spot in the North Coast team.
Understandably, her parents Paula and Lee are extremely proud of their little girl's miraculous achievement.
"You should have seen Lee when they read her name out," Paula said yesterday.
"He was jumping up and down, cheering and screaming like a kid, he was so happy.
"She has really earned this and made us and her doctor so proud," she said.
"They tell me, her throwing the 2kg ball two metres is equivalent to a 100kg man throwing a 10kg ball 20 metres.