Comment: Support for youngster is inspirational

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what a moment it will be when Maya McRobbie walks on to the stage at Meadowbank Stadium on Thursday night.

The city’s annual fireworks show is always spectacular but this year young Maya is bound to steal the show. Three years ago, as a four-year-old facing the prospect of life in a wheelchair, she performed the same job of officially starting Edinburgh’s Bonfire Night celebrations.

What she has achieved in the meantime is nothing short of astonishing. Today, Maya is as active as most of her friends, enjoying dance classes, bike riding and trampolining, despite still having challenges to overcome due to her cerebral palsy.

The transformation in Maya’s life over the last three years is testimony to her courage and determination, and the love and support of her family.

But it is more than that, too. The way in which the Edinburgh public rallied round to support the McRobbies in their bid to build a better life for Maya is inspirational as well.

The family is the first to recognise that without the generosity of strangers, as well as family and friends, none of this would have been possible.

The £60,000 cost of sending the youngster to the United States for pioneering surgery at first seemed prohibitive. But as word spread first through the local community, then across Edinburgh and the Lothians, the support came flooding in. At that point, everything changed. What had once seemed unreachable 
became possible.

Most of us live increasingly busy lives these days, often spending half our time rushing from one thing to the next. The times that we come together as a community, as many of us will on Thursday, can be few and far between.

But we should never forget the importance – and the power – of the bonds we form when we do that.