Leah-Anne Prosper of Regina, Saskatchewan, has kicked and punched her way into our cold, disgruntled hearts, turning them into a happy puddle of beaming, shining pride.
The fierce nine-year old Cree girl is preparing for her first international martial arts competition in Florida, with her family standing behind her with fundraising efforts. She has been practicing Kenpo, which she has been studying since the age of 3.
“My daughter makes me very proud,” Sarah Prosper told CBC. “She’s won over 80 medals, but even then it’s more than the determination. She enjoys what she’s doing.”
And clearly, Twitter agrees with Elle Beaver (or we agree with Twitter?): Leah-Anne. Is. Awesome.
Leah-Anne’s family has already raised $1, 000, but needs to raise another $9, 000 by June. So crack open that wallet and contribute to this amazing girl’s journey on GoFundMe.
But beyond the championship, Leah-Anne’s parents told CBC this “is just a part of a more important fight.”
As @RedIndianGirl tweeted in the aftermath of Loretta Saunders’ murder almost a year ago, “The thing about being an indigenous mother in this country; Everytime your daughter is a little late or delayed getting home there’s fear.” It was a sentiment rapidly echoed by @paulseesequasis, “As a father of a daughter I feel that as well.”
And it’s no different for the Prosper family.
“We know of so many woman that were raped and or beaten, sometimes by their spouses, guys they knew and sometimes by complete strangers,” Sarah Prosper tells Elle Beaver. “With all these missing and murdered woman and children, it brings another fear into our life.”
“It was actually my husband who grew up in a troubled home. He always feared having a daughter. When I had Leah, he was away from home for work. I called him to tell him we had a daughter and the first thing he said was, ‘We’ll have to put her in martial arts.'”
“We want our daughter to be able to protect herself.”
But for Leah-Anne, the focus is on her upcoming competitions. She tells CBC: “I’m feeling kind of nervous for it, but I’m ready.”
Get that gold, Leah-Anne – we are SO proud of you!
*Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Prosper family had raised $10, 000, with $9, 000 left to raise. We have amended the information to reflect accurate information.
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