Rio gets a lift from Harry


Six-year-old amputee Rio Woolf received royal encouragement when he met Prince Harry at the Invictus Games for injured soldiers.

Rio - who had a leg amputated at 14 months because it was missing vital bones - attended the east London event with his parents, Juliette and Trevor. "Rio has always wanted to meet Prince Harry and it has been his ambition to be a Paralympian ever since we went to the Paralympics in 2012," Mrs Woolf said.

"When we found out Harry was going to be at the Games, Rio insisted that we meet him. As a parent, you're a bit reluctant to say, 'well that might not happen'." But fate took a hand.

A BBC producer approached the family and asked Rio for an interview. While it was being filmed, the producer noticed Prince Harry passing by and asked Rio if he wanted to meet him.

"Rio grabbed the hand of the producer and ran down the stairs. It's not easy for him to go down stairs on his leg but he is one determined young boy.

"Harry was so kind and spent five minutes talking to Rio. He was just amazing with him. You can tell he loves children."

After the London Paralympics, the Woolfs launched a social media campaign, Run Rio Run, to help fund future prosthetic legs for the aspiring athlete, who attends Tribe's Bushey-based Aleph learning centre.

"He just loves sport so we take him to as many para events as we can to inspire him," Mrs Woolf added.

"His leg needs replacing every six-to-eight months and the ones he needs are not available on the NHS. In the next 10 years, we are going to need to find £60,000 to help him achieve his dream.

"Having the time with Prince Harry is great because it has raised awareness of his campaign and his ambition.

"We've been contacted by people all over the world who want to help Rio. Like any parent, I just want his dream to become a reality."

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