AS she crossed Albury’s Young Street on the final leg of her fund-raising walk along eight blocks of Dean Street, Mya Irving broke into a run.
“Go on, you can go,” mum Ally gently coaxed as Mya saw little sister Evie, 3, on the eastern side of Young Street, with one end of a sign that read “Well done Mya”.
The young sisters hugged as Mrs Irving shed a tear and Mya’s entourage of dozens of supporters joined her with tears and applause after following her the length of Dean Street from Wodonga Place.
The plucky seven-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, had completed her goal of walking the 1.2-kilometre stretch of Dean Street on Saturday in a bid to raise the $35,000 needed to modify a car to take an electric wheelchair for her friend Rajah Sutherland, 6.
Rajah and her parents, Tom Lanaghan and Ellen Sutherland, joined Mya on her walk; the offer made after the girls became friends through a disability support service and hydrotherapy.
As the crowd gathered at the coffee van at the western end of Dean Street just before 10am, Mya greeted friends and supporters with kisses and hugs; children and adults alike keen to urge on the young walker who was outfitted in the Walk for Rajah colours of purple, pink and black, a silver tiara and butterfly wings.
An envelope containing $1000 from a shy donor was pushed into the hands of Mya’s dad Jon, as the tin shakers began their work.
Among the collectors were young friends of Mya and Rajah, as well as colleagues and friends of their parents.
When the walk got under way, Mya hit her stride with a huge smile that didn’t leave her face for the remainder of the journey up Dean Street.
Along the way, there were friends to wave and speak to; one driver stopped his car and politely waved a $5 note at one of the tin shakers; other donors stepped out of shops or were already waiting to offer their money and encouragement as she came by.
There was further incentive for Mya as she completed each of the eight blocks — a new bunch of balloons and yet another group of friends there to urge her on.
But it was Team Irving — mum Ally and dad Jon — who were on hand every step of the way and served as the support crew with fruit and drinks each time Mya stopped to take a seat and a breather before moving on.
Tom Lanaghan said his family had been forced to borrow a vehicle to get to the walk after their car broke down.
“This is awesome. It has blown us away,” he said.
Now on school holidays for a fortnight, Mya said there was a particular holiday in September she was looking forward to.
“We’re going to America,” she confided, “we’re going to Disneyland”.