MAGIC MIKEY

The tod­dler mak­ing brav­ery fash­ion­able

The Sunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - ROCHELLE TETLOW Look for Mighty Able on Face­book and also at mightyable.com

MIKEY Al­bert is just 20 months old — but the gritty courage, de­ter­mi­na­tion and op­ti­mism of this Tuart Hill tot has in­spired a bou­tique kids’ cloth­ing la­bel that is get­ting in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est.

“Mighty Able” was launched just four months ago by Mikey’s mum Emma Al­bert, 31, as a trib­ute to her son’s brave, fun-lov­ing at­ti­tude to his chal­lenges with cere­bral palsy.

The for­mer corporate and events man­ager has de­signed kids’ one­sies and shirts bear­ing slo­gans such as Mighty Brave, Mighty Fierce, Mighty Strong, Mighty Rare, Prove Them Wrong, La­bels Don’t De­fine Me and The Sky’s the Limit.

The cloth­ing line is tes­ta­ment to the strength of char­ac­ter pos­sessed by so many chil­dren with dif­fer­ent abil­i­ties and di­ag­nosed chal­lenges.

“These kids are so mighty and so strong,” Mrs Al­bert says. “They go through so much and you can’t even be­gin to imag­ine it, what it’s like to be in their lit­tle shoes. I’ve seen lit­tle kids al­most ‘writ­ten-off’ by doc­tors ... and they’ve re­ally proved them wrong. It’s what I want to cel­e­brate.”

Four weeks be­fore Mikey was due, Mrs Al­bert was on her last shift at Scar­bor­ough’s Ren­dezvous Ho­tel when the lack of foetal move­ment con­cerned her enough to go to hos­pi­tal. An emer­gency C-sec­tion soon fol­lowed and just five days later, a pae­di­a­tri­cian was telling Mrs Al­bert and hus­band An­drew that their lit­tle Mikey had “se­vere brain dam­age”.

“I left the room and wailed in the cor­ri­dor,” Mrs Al­bert re­calls. “It’s not what you ex­pect and it’s a dif­fi­cult bat­tle all the way through.”

She finds it up­lift­ing to talk about Mikey hon­estly and to meet, through the “Mighty Able” brand, other par­ents and their kids who face sim­i­lar battles.

“These kids are in hos­pi­tal and go­ing into surgery and their par­ents send me a pic­ture of them in their Mighty Brave T-shirt — it’s re­ally lovely,” she says.

NATE SHAF­FER, 2, (East Vic­to­ria Park) is a smi­ley, happy lit­tle boy and loves mak­ing friends and play­ing with his big brother Caden. He has Edwards syn­drome. WIL­LOW THOMP­SON, 3, (NSW) is feisty, hi­lar­i­ous and de­ter­mined — sur­pris­ing ev­ery­one with what...

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