A seriously ill girl will be celebrating her leap year birthday with her family throwing an open house party in honour of fighting against all odds.

Skye, from Harlow, who turns eight tomorrow (Saturday, February 28) has a rare genetic metabolic illness, where she is tube fed and is unable to speak or sit up unaided.

The youngster was diagnosed with the illness when she was 16 months old and likes to move across the floor by shuffling on her back and enjoys music.

Mum Vicki Doidge will be inviting family and friends to their home to celebrate will also raising money and awareness for Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.

She said: “Doctors told us that children like Skye live for three or four years and she’s about to turn eight. She’s a fighter and has defied the odds.”

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity’s helps families like Skye’s by offering care advice and support for the family of a seriously ill child.

Family support worker Abi has supported the family for about three years, predominantly helping Skye’s brothers Harrison aged five and seven-month- old Max.

“Rainbow Trust offers something that no one else can,” explains Ms Doidge. “The most important thing Abi has done for us is the one to one support she gives Harrison. Rainbow Trust are the only people who really help siblings and the wider family.

“Abi enables me to have more quality time with my other children and give them special attention that they wouldn’t otherwise get.

“It is a shame that there is no funding for charities like Rainbow Trust because we are talking about really sick children who need help.”

Skye is on oxygen or a ventilator at night and sometimes needs oxygen during the day.

Her family say they are relieved she will be spending this extra special birthday at home and not in hospital.

“Skye has really turned a corner,” said Ms Doidge. “She will love it. She’ll be the centre of attention, she’s very sociable and she will be babbling and singing. She’s a fighter and no matter what is wrong with her she’s always happy and smiling.”

Oonagh Goodman, director of fundraising and marketing, said: “We are very grateful to families like Vicki’s for backing us.

“Our care to seriously ill children and their families costs £8,709 per day to provide and, in a Leap Year, we need to fund the extra day. With your help, we can reach out to more families.”

To support the Rainbow Trusts Children’s Charity and to find out more, visit their website or Facebook page.