Mackenzie Donnelly has a big goal and a big heart - to walk 300,000 steps during November to raise awareness of childhood deafness and money to support deaf children like herself.
Mackenzie, 8, was diagnosed as deaf when she was three weeks old - her parents Chris and Tamara found out the life-changing news when they received a letter in the mail.
Fitted with her first cochlear implant at 11 months, and her second when she was two, mum Tamara said Mackenzie did not let anything hold her back.
"She's always got a smile on her face and is willing to help anyone out ... and when we saw there was the Steps for Deaf Kids campaign in November she wanted to do it."
Mackenzie is not only determined to walk 10,000 steps every day in November, she's also rallied family and friends to join in and help raise funds.
On Sunday November 19, about 40 family and friends came together in Brown Hill Reserve to walk or run as far as Gong Gong Reservoir and back before enjoying a barbecue lunch.
"She's making sure she hits her steps. She checks her watch and if she hasn't hit her target she'll grab dad to go for a walk to get extra steps, then at night writes her steps down," Ms Donnelly said.
"She's always making sure people are okay, she's always got a kind heart and is always doing things for others."
Ms Donnelly said Mackenzie understood that some deaf children needed extra support and wanted to help them.
"She said 'this is for other children that need help and support, so they can be the best selves they can be'."
Tamara is now in grade two at St Francis Xavier Primary School where she is thriving.
"You would talk to her and think she was 'normal' but she still has her hard days," Ms Donnelly said. "As a parent it's hard to see her saying 'I don't want to be deaf, why am I deaf' ... it breaks your heart."
To help her in the classroom, her teacher wears a Roger device which delivers sound directly to Mackenzie's two cochlear implants
"She's just such a resilient kid, so determined and wants to do the best that she can and now she wants to help build awareness for other children."
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