THE mother of a Rowley Regis boy born with half a heart is entering a beauty pageant to raise money and awareness for two lifeline organsations.
Melodie Williams is pushing herself out of her comfort zone to take part in the British Beauty Curve 2014 contest in London.
The 41-year-old, size 16, is hoping people will sponsor her challenge in aid of Acorns Hospice and Little Hearts Matter.
Her son, Mason, was born with a rare genetic condition, micro deletion, which means a band of chromosomes is missing, resulting in a number of disabilities.
The four-year-old has hypoplastic left heart syndrome – commonly known as having half a heart – he cannot speak, is partially sighted and can only walk a little.
He is now being fed through his stomach, having undergone a gastrotomy, because he has problems eating and was not growing.
Mrs Williams, and her husband Paul, aged 34, who have four other children, of Mountford Close, do not know what the future holds for their son.
But she is passionate about raising awareness about Mason’s condition and funds for the groups who support the family.
She said: “I don’t think people realise how much Acorns do – it costs £750 a day to look after a child in the hospice - and they have a mums group and other siblings group. “ Little Hearts Matter offers support and information, and raises awareness of those affected when a child has only half a heart, which can be due to a range of conditions.
Mrs Williams, who is a parent ambassador for Acorns, hopes taking part in the beauty pageant on Sunday July 27 will also help boost her confidence and overcome depression which has affected her since the age 14.
“The pageant is way out of my comfort, I would never normally do anything like this,” said the mother of the three.
It includes a swimwear round for women over size 14, for which she is planning to wear a black swimsuit covered with a patriotic sarong made from a Black Country flag.
TV Young Apprentice show candidate from 2011 Ben Fowler, who runs baguette and coffee shop Bennos, Halesowen Road, Quinton, and Taks fish and chip shop, of Rowley Regis, are her main sponsors.
Anyone who would like to support her should call 07515871591.