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After being born ten weeks premature, ex-footballer Phil Neville and wife Julie were told that their daughter Isabella would never be able to walk or talk.
So the pair are as surprised as anyone that the now 13-year-old has blossomed into a beautiful teenager and has just signed with a British modelling agency.
Isabella is the first less able-bodied model to appear on Source Models’ main books despite suffering from cerebral palsy and having to wear leg splints for the majority of the time. The entire family are ecstatic that she is not being billed solely as a disabled model.
“I never thought I’d see this day,” Julie Neville told the Daily Mail. “Isabella has exceeded everything we thought she would do. I’m really excited to see her achieving her dreams. After what she’s been through, she deserves every minute of this.”
The family now live in Valencia, Spain, but Isabella has already set up her own Instagram account to show off her modelling journey. Her parents have taught her to ignore (the unfortunately inevitable) hateful comments that can appear across social media.
Speaking of her aspirations, the teenager stated that modelling was something she’d thought about for a while: “I admire models such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. The first time I modelled I was nervous, but there have been cameras around since I was little so I soon got used to doing it.”
Although she is grateful for the opportunity, Isabella also has bigger dreams she hopes to fulfil. One day, she wishes to collaborate with a designer on special ‘girly’ shoes that will fit over leg splints.
“I don’t mind wearing my splints,” she said. “They’re normal to me. But you can wear only one type of shoe and it’s boring wearing the same ones every day. I’d like to wear glittery pumps, Skechers and Ugg boots like my friends.”
Seems like this young girl will go far.