The daughter of former Manchester United and England footballer Phil Neville has been signed by a commercial modelling agency.
Izzy Neville, 13, has been signed to Source Models in London. But her success hasn’t come easy.
Izzy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months old, and her parents were told she might not ever walk or talk.
”From a very young age Isabella’s determination and courage shone and she had an intense desire from being a baby to be the same as her peers,” her mother Julie wrote in a blog post.
As a child, Izzy had a constant schedule of daily treatments, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, which her mother says was “tiring and painful”.
She has been walking completely unaided for the past three years, come top of her class at school, and competed against able-bodied children in many sports.
Despite fearing that nobody would be interested in taking her on, Izzy worked up the courage to apply to Source Models.
The agency’s director David Gibbs said that the team get over 300 applications a month from aspiring models, and have to turn down most people.
“When I saw Izzy’s model card I had no idea who she was or that she had cerebral palsy. I just thought she looks great – she has a commercial look,” he said.
Julie and Phillip say they are committed to supporting Izzy in her dream of modelling.
“Philip and I have always said to Isabella that there is nothing she can’t do. We have instilled that in her from day one,” Julie told the Mirror.
“It might be more difficult or we might have to go about things in a different way, but we always want her to believe that she can achieve the same as anybody else.”