INSPIRATIONAL: Jon Riordan, left, and Belinda Mahony with the hand bike she will ride in the New York Marathon this year.
INSPIRATIONAL: Jon Riordan, left, and Belinda Mahony with the hand bike she will ride in the New York Marathon this year.

Rare treat for the Valley

BY ADRIAN MILLER

WHEN Belinda Mahony was born, doctors gave her little chance of ever walking or talking.

A rare chromosome abnormality, of which there are only 17 known cases in the world, meant Ms Mahony would suffer from mental and physical disabilities for the rest of her life.

But now, at the age of 23, the Gold Coast resident has realised her life long dream to sing and perform.

She has already released three cds and a single, and has performed with world renowned artists.

And now residents of the Clarence Valley will have the chance to hear Ms Mahony's extraordinary talent when she performs at the Pacific Hotel, Yamba, on Friday, May 13.

Ms Mahony will headline the Variety Club's major fundraising event of the year, A Night of Entertainment. The show will also feature local entertainer Warwick Cheney from Los Garbos and the Trashmen, comedy magician Super Hubert, as well as an auction and a raffle with a prize value of $1000.

Yamba Variety Club member Jon Riordan said the evening would be a fantastic event and the perfect opportunity to hear Ms Mahony's inspirational story.

"I saw Belinda perform at a concert in Sydney and she brought a tear to my eye," he said.

"I can't believe how much willpower and strength she has shown to have done the things she has. She is still very handicapped, but when it comes to music she just excels. She is such an inspiration."

Ms Mahony has performed with internationally renowned Australian band The Seekers in Melbourne, at the opening of the Marriott Hotel in Brisbane and at the Premier's Ball in Queensland in 2000.

She has been described as 'the brightest star on the Gold Coast' by the Gold Coast Bulletin and 'truly a special artist ... determined, bright spirited, with a voice like an angel' by New York magazine, Village Voice.

But Ms Mahony doesn't limit herself to music.

This year she has been invited to compete in the New York City Marathon, and will represent Australia in the 'hand bike' cate- gory.



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