Jade Edward, from Aberdeenshire, had to have her limbs removed aged just 2 after contracting meningococcal septicaemia
But that hasn’t held the determined youngster back and now, aged 10, she’s set to become the youngest ever athlete to compete in the World Para Surf Championships in California next month.
Jade, who only took up the sport a year ago, will be representing Scotland and has been selected as part of the first Scottish Para Surf Team to take part in the event.
Loves surfing and skateboarding
Jade, aka 'Shred', an affectionate nickname received when competing, loves surfing, skateboarding, being outdoors and anything that has a sense of adventure.
She was hospitalised for six months when she became ill but says, "I don’t remember being in hospital, but I’m now a quadruple amputee. I use a power chair to get to and from school and a skateboard when I’m out playing. At home I scoot around by shuffling on my bum.
“When I go surfing I feel so happy. I absolutely love it. My mum and dad say it’s my ‘Happy Place’. I’m not bothered what temperature the water is, as I still love it even when it’s freezing.
Felt like I was going to burst
“When I was told I was going to be representing Scotland at surfing, I felt like I was going to burst!
“It’s an amazing opportunity that I’m really excited about. There’s not many 10-year-olds who get the chance to do this.
“I can’t wait to meet other surfers like me. My mum said it will be really good to be with other people with different abilities rather than always being the one who is different. I can’t wait!
Surfing is for everyone
“I’m so pleased that I can surf, as I really think surfing is for absolutely everyone - the team at SurfABLE make sure that everyone has a great time and that having a disability, or a difference, is never a problem - they always find a way to get you in the water."
Jade's career took off in July when she attended the English Para Surf Competition in Bristol, where organisers were stunned at her ‘natural ability, on the board, and invited her to compete stateside.
Now she will be jetting off with her dad, mum and sister for the contest on 30 November.
Her longer-term goal is to take her much-loved hobby all the way to the Paralympic Games in 2028.
Good luck in the competition Jade and have a great time.
The Scottish Surfing Federation is crowdfunding to help those taking part in the event. The SSF covers the entry fees and training, but all other expenses are met by the competitors’ families, fundraising activities, donations and sponsors. Money raised will go towards the cost of flights, accommodation and other expenses. To support Jade and the team’s efforts visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/first-scottish-parasurf-team-at-2022-isa-worlds
Pictures courtesy of the Scottish Surfing Federation