WHEN she was a baby Macksville’s Kymberlee Blair was fighting&nbsp;for her life, her small body wracked with the fevers and pain of double pneumonia and swine flu. “I started at Macksville Hospital but they sent me to Sydney and I ended up in Westmead …&nbsp;Mum and Dad tell me they nearly lost me twice but they sang my favourite song and rubbed my great-grandmother’s teeth all over me and I came back to them,” Kymberlee wrote in preparation for our interview. It was a setback that saw her having to learn to walk again and being told that she would not live past five and would never play sport. On the&nbsp;eve of her 12th&nbsp;birthday, Kymberlee stands before me, happy and healthy, fresh from her experience at the Aboriginal Model Search finals in Sydney and brimming with bounce from her busy schedule of athletics, gymnastics and netball. “I guess I’m&nbsp;a fighter,” is how she describes her survival&nbsp;…&nbsp;it is an attitude that clearly stands her in good stead as she tackles new challenges, that&nbsp;of modelling being the latest. “I saw the sign for Aboriginal Model Search one day in South Kempsey, so I signed up. “I was so nervous the night before that I couldn’t sleep but when I got there I shook it all off – they gave us rehearsals for our poses and I felt comfortable in front of the camera.” Kymberlee was nominated as&nbsp;a finalist in the Junior section and&nbsp;three weeks ago headed&nbsp;to Sydney for the Nationals. Three&nbsp;different dresses, a speech, walking in high heels – she was one among 120 other young hopefuls aged between 8 and 30 years being put through their paces for one gruelling day with a catwalk finale. “I looked at myself on the screen as I was walking and I knew I was doing OK …&nbsp;I didn't end up getting a contract but it was a great experience, feeling what its like to be a model and being able to meet new people from different places.” Back home now and her father Rhuben says he feels so proud of his daughter. “I’m so impressed at how she’s come along after being so sick,” he said. For her part, Kymberlee has moved onto the next project –&nbsp;she’s busy training for&nbsp;the Indigenous Netball Knock-Out finals at the end of the month. * Aboriginal Model Search is a competition that opens opportunities for indigenous models to make it to the front line of fashion. Founder Kamilaroi woman Sharlette Townsend says “it&nbsp;assists young people within the Indigenous community to discover a higher sense of self belief”.