When Sienna Steptoe was five months old, doctors told her family she was blind, deaf and would never walk or talk.

But five years later and to the joy of her parents, the Abingdon youngster is learning to take her first steps with the help of an Oxfordshire charity.

Her father Mickey will run the London half-marathon this weekend to say thank you to the people who are finally helping his daughter walk.

Mum Rosie said: “We never thought we would see this happen. You always hope but at the back of your mind you think it will not really happen.”

Sienna, now four, had a complicated birth but her parents were told she was normal and took her home.

Only five months later, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and doctors said she would never be able to walk or talk.

Mrs Steptoe said: “It was a shock like you would not believe. We did not expect it at all, we knew something was wrong but it was a complete blow.

“It is still hard to come to terms with now.

“When you see other children of the same age doing things it’s quite shocking because that’s what she should be doing, it’s sad.”

She added: “But she is Sienna and she is her own little person.”

Sienna is not deaf or blind, but was unable to even sit up by herself until her parents took her along to Footsteps, a charity based in Dorchester, near Wallingford.

The centre offers a unique rehabilitation programme for children with neurological disorders.

Sienna has now had six three-week sessions and after months of progress, this month managed to pull herself up to a standing position and hold herself there.

Her mum said: “It is amazing. We never thought we would see it, she is much more independent. Walking properly is the next aim for us.To other people, these steps might not seem like a big deal.

“My other little girl is eight months old and she can pull herself up now and that’s fantastic.

“But when Sienna does it, it is incredible because we never thought she would be able to.”

Sienna uses a piece of equipment called the Spider.

It supports her with elastic ropes and teaches her the movements needed to walk.

Mr Steptoe will be running the half-marathon on Sunday with his brother Andy. He is being supported by the rest of the family, including Sienna’s older siblings Lewis, Connor and Rebecca and younger sister Hollie.

Mr Steptoe said: “To see Sienna achieve this sort of independence is amazing.

“She is so brave and so I have decided to do something that will totally challenge me in running the half marathon to help raise money for Sienna’s amazing treatment at Footsteps.”

To sponsor them visit justgiving.com/siennas-fund For more information on Footsteps, visit footstepscentre.com