“Without my leg I’m still Mia, but without sport I’m not”
A 12-year-old sports fan who is “smashing new opportunities” the way she “smashed cancer” - picks up a national award for her bravery.
Cancer survivor and amputee Mia Lloyd, whose recovery was aided by the thought of getting back to the sports she loved, stole judges’ hearts to take the Inspiring Person Award at this year’s Wales Sport Awards.
Before her 10th birthday, Mia from Cardigan, was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer called Ostesarcoma. What was originally put down to ‘growing pains’ ended in the diagnosis of a tumour in her leg and cancer that had spread to her lungs.
“I felt shocked and emotional - I was angry but mostly just scared of what was going to happen to me” admits Mia.
During 10 months of gruelling chemotherapy at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff, the inspiring youngster made the tough decision to have an above-the-knee amputation.
Unfazed, she says: “It was the best option for me because I really wanted to return to the running track as soon as possible.”
She adds: “I really enjoy the challenge of learning to walk, run and play sport on my prosthetic leg – it’s awesome choosing different colours and designs for each of the legs that I’ve had so far.”
After nearly a year in hospital, it was a visit from Disability Sport Wales Officer Gemma Cutter that gave Mia hope. She told her about all the sport opportunities and support open to her.
“Mia’s story is so powerful. She has turned everything she’s had to face at such a young age and turned it into something positive” explains Gemma. “I very much look forward to seeing Mia continue to share the message that if you put your mind to something - anything is possible.”
She adds: “Mia is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met and deserves every recognition.”
Llanelli Scarlets rugby fan Mia now takes part in athletics, wheelchair basketball, swimming, golf, climbing, adaptive skiing and para-cycling.
“I just want to live a full, healthy, happy and adventurous life!” she says.
“Cancer has made me even more determined to succeed. With the constant support of Disability Sport Wales, I will take the opportunities that I am offered and smash it just like I smashed my cancer!” she adds.
“Cancer has changed my body but it hasn’t changed my love of sport. If I can get through that, I can do anything”
The Inspiring Person of the Year Award will be presented to Mia at the Wales Sport Awards, organised by BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales. The event is organised by BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales. Held at the Celtic Manor on Tuesday 10 December, it will be hosted by Gethin Jones and Carol Vorderman.