Ashby’s Karate Kid Shelby Miller fighting fit after rare bone disease

Shelby Miller (11-Ashby). Photo: Martin Kennealey
Shelby Miller (11-Ashby). Photo: Martin Kennealey

A COUPLE of years after finding out she had a dying bone in her foot, Shelby Miller (11) is fighting fit and preparing to represent WA in karate.

The Ashby girl was diagnosed with a rare condition, osteocondritis, in early 2016 after going to hospital with a suspected broken toe.

“They found out over the next few weeks and a few x-rays and MRIs later, she actually had a dying bone in her left foot,” her mother AnnMaree said.

“She was a unique case as no one as young as Shelby had this condition.

“She was devastated as she had to go in a moon boot for six months and the first three months with no weight bearing at all.”

Mrs Miller said her daughter received good news in mid-2016 that her foot had regenerated itself and there was no need for surgery.

She returned to training, then broke different toes on the same foot and ended up in a moon boot again for another three months.

Shelby said it felt really “weird” not doing karate training for those 12 months and she was a little rusty when she went back to it, but still felt really good being back in a dojo, or classroom.

Despite the setbacks, the Wanneroo Primary School student recently qualified for the State karate team and will take part in the Australian Karate Federation’s National Championships in Queensland in August.

Shelby, who started doing karate when she was five, said she hoped to become a teacher by day and sensei by night when she grows up.

“It’s always been a dream – becoming a ninja, creeping through the dark,” she said.

“I started karate because I wanted to have courage and learn self-defence.

“It builds self-esteem and if you are getting bullied and someone goes to punch you, you know what to do; you can defend yourself.”

Mrs Miller said Shelby’s club, Shobukan Martial Arts in Wangara, had been supportive during her time off.

Several other members of the club have also qualified for the State team, including Mason Clarke, Saba Clarke, Kristen Walden, Zane Coleman , Ella Cooperwhite, Samantha Dhatt and Darcy Horwood.

Blake Coleman, who heads the Alkimos branch, is the team captain and his father Shane is a state coach with Shobukan’s Michael Panossian taking up the head state coach position.