Nine-year-old Makaira has a very special reason to take part in the MS Readathon every year: her mother.

The Point Cook girl’s mum, Rebecca Muscat, has multiple sclerosis (MS). The annual readathon raises funds for research and to help people living with MS.

“I read to raise money to find a cure,” Makaira said.

This year will mark the fifth consecutive year that the pint-sized bookworm has participated in the readathon.

Last year, Makaira raised an impressive $8113 for the readathon and was the top fundraiser in the nation. During the past four years, she has raised a total of $22,254 for the cause, reading about 2000 books in the process.

Makaira said she hoped to raise more than $8000 this year, to take her total contribution to $30,000.

She said she developed her love of reading because of her parents, who read to her when she was younger.

Makaira’s fundraising efforts have been thrust into the spotlight thanks to a high-profile AFL player. Last week, Essendon vice captain Zach Merrett visited Makaira’s school, Lumen Christi Catholic Primary School in Point Cook.

Makaira conducted a question and answer session with Merrett in front of fellow students, to encourage them to take part in the MS Readathon.

Merrett, whose mother also has MS, posted a photo of Makaira on his Instagram account and praised her fundraising efforts.

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