A young street dancer is living every performance like its his last as he becomes more crippled by a rare condition.
Talented Haiden Corcoran, nine, is becoming weaker by the day as genetic disease Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) attacks his joints.
Every dance session is now an agonising experience for the youngster, and his dad has to be on hand to pop his joints back into place as they dislocate with the simplest of moves.
Mum Julie, who Haiden inherits the condition from, said: “At the end of every dance session he is in pain, but he doesn’t let it prevent him from doing what he loves.
“His condition is getting worse and the doctors have said this is probably the last chance to dance at his level.
“I was diagnosed with the condition late and already use a wheelchair.
“Haiden’s problems mean that he often dislocates his joints while dancing and his dad Philip, has to pop them back into place.
“Sometimes it’s so bad that his kneecap can be twisted round to the side and has to be pushed back into place. But despite everything, he keeps smiling and keeps dancing.”
Haiden, from Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancs., has recently qualified for the annual world street dancing championships in Glasgow, with his dance group FY Wingz, who he’s performed with for five years.
But as his excitement for the competition builds, Haiden is left with the sad reality that it could be his last as his condition takes over.
He’s determined to overcome the pain and achieve his dream of performing at the World Championships in August.
Julie, 32, said: “Haiden loves dancing. It has been his life for the last five years and we are all very proud of him.”
“He knows his condition is getting worse and is determined to keep practising so that he can put on his best possible performance.
“We are all very proud of him. He is an inspiration.”
EDS is a disorder of connective tissues in skin, ligaments, bones and internal organs.
Symptoms include increased movement of loose joints, stretchy skin and fragile skin tissue.
It is caused by alterations in certain genes which make connective tissue weaker and can be passed from either parent.
People with EDS have loose joints, meaning limbs bend more than usual.
As the World Championships are likely to be Haiden’s last performance, the whole family is planning to travel with him to support him.
His mum and dad and siblings Reece, 14, Joel, 13, Dominic, 11, Brandon, eight, and sisters Honey, six, and Minnie, three, will all be cheering from the sidelines.
Haiden is dancing in both the social and group categories and as a duo with dance partner Casey Foster, eight.
Julie added: “Haiden’s doctor has said this is one of the worst he has ever seen.
“The condition is hard to diagnose because it’s so rare and it’s heartbreaking to see him in pain.
“Because I suffer from Ehlers-Danlos myself I know how painful it can be.
“He will try anything and keeps up with the class no matter how much pain he’s in.
“We will all be in Glasgow to cheer him on and there won’t be a prouder family there.”
To support Haiden with his last dance, visit: www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/HaidenCorcoran