THE LOOK of shock and disapproval on Savannah Parkinson's face tells you everything you need to know about the extraordinary seven-year-old and her love of footy and the outdoors.

Born with the rarest of skin conditions that results in constant peeling all over her body, the Auskicker listens as her mum, Melissa, mentions how difficult it would be to wrap her energetic daughter in cotton wool and restrict her to colouring in books all day.

The mere mention of such a plan makes Savannah, a confident and proud Fremantle fan, stand up in her chair and protest with a look that tells you immediately that she will dictate how she lives with her condition, not the other way around.

We got a few looks, like 'why would you let her play football?' But why wouldn't we? She loves it

- Melissa Parkinson

Savannah is one of only 40 people in the world with a skin condition called confetti ichthyosis, which manifests at birth. 

As a result of the condition, Savannah's fragile top layer of skin was wiped away by doctors when she was born and she was rushed to intensive care at Princess Margaret Hospital, where she was cared for in the same manner as a burns victim for 10 days.

Eventually diagnosed by a dermatologist, Savannah's condition is managed by keeping her skin as moist as possible with special creams, soaps and daily medication.

Fremantle fan Savannah Parkinson showing off her purple pride. Picture: Supplied

Parents Mel and Craig have taken the approach that Savannah's condition doesn't have to stop her from doing anything, and they didn't hesitate to give the green light when their youngest daughter asked if she could play footy three years ago.

"We've never stopped her from doing anything, and we've never believed she couldn't do anything she wants to do," Melissa says.

"So when she said she wants to play football, we said go for it. We got a few looks, like 'why would you let her play football?' But why wouldn't we? She loves it."

Savannah's love of footy has turned the Parkinsons into a football family. Older sister Dakoda, 10, has taken up the game, Craig coaches and occasionally slips on the mascot costume, and Melissa is the Auskick coordinator at Carine Junior Football Club, as well as a player with Hamersley Carine.

In her third season of Auskick, Savannah is tenacious, enthusiastic and skilful, with her condition no barrier to playing the game. Her confidence, Melissa and Craig agree, is the key.

"She's not treated any differently which is a big thing for us," Melissa said.

"But I think if she didn't have the confidence she has, it would be a very different story.

"As she gets older she'll start to become a bit more aware of herself and then what others around her are saying, or pointing, but she just rolls with it now, and says 'this is me'."

As positive as Melissa and Craig are, their daughter's condition does come with frustrations. There have been comments from parents about not putting sunscreen on their daughter, and finger-pointing from others at playgrounds has forced tongues to be bitten.

But Savannah's comic timing has a way of lifting any mood and she sees the positives in life, speaking proudly of her massive drawer of socks, which are needed to protect her feet.

"I've got a whole drawer of socks so it can't close," she says. "I'm wearing a rainbow pair right now."

Savannah Parkinson hasn’t let a rare skin condition stop her from playing football and is now in her third season of Auskick. Picture: Supplied

When the discussion turns to what Savannah can't do now, or might be restricted from doing in the future, the first thing that comes to mind is not related to her condition, but an allergy to egg yolk.

Football is just one of the outdoor pursuits she has, with netball, teeball, surf club, and a home-made 'Ninja Warrior' course also filling the social schedule for Savannah and sister Dakoda, who has learnt to be a protector.

The 10-year-old is as sharp as anyone with her responses if she hears comments from strangers about her sister's condition.

"Savannah would have only been weeks old and we were lining up in a supermarket and the cash register lady made a comment about what's wrong with her," Melissa explains.

"Dakoda would have been four or five and she turned around and said, 'Mum left her in the oven too long'. I didn't know what to say.

"But we've always said to Dakoda that she has to be there for her sister. She's the sensitive one, but we're a family unit and we're in it together."

The Carine Football Club is also a support, where Savannah is part of an Auskick troop of 164 kids, ranking strongly in Western Australia.  

Savannah Parkinson (right) is a WA Auskick ambassador and a passionate Fremantle fan. Picture: Supplied

The boys and girls are combined at Carine from 5-8 years old and Savannah is a standout at the early stages of her footy journey, making her parents proud.

"Seeing her run around on the footy field and mixing with everyone, it's good. It does (make you proud)," dad Craig says. 

"There's nothing stopping her from doing anything."

For more information about the NAB AFL Auskick program and to find your local Auskick centre or junior football club, head to