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Five children with life-threatening conditions granted winter wonderland wishes

News release for immediate use                            
December 2014 

Five children with life-threatening conditions granted winter wonderland wishes

 

Five UK children had special Christmas wishes granted this December when they were transported to a snowy winter wonderland in Lapland by Make-A-Wish® UK, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.

Michael Holton, 4, from Waterlooville, was diagnosed with end stage renal failure when he was just a few days old. He has spent the last three Christmases either in hospital or poorly at home, so Michael wanted this festive season to be one to remember, away from hospitals and treatment. Paige Streeter, 4, from Fareham, was diagnosed in April 2011 with T- cell leukaemia.  She has had treatment, but doctors have no statistics for her prognosis as only two other children her age are known to have the condition. 

Isabelle Franklin, 7, from Colchester, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in May 2012. She had two years of chemotherapy treatment and is now in remission, but continues to be monitored.  Alexandre de Sousa, 6, from Jersey, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer of the nerve cells) in June 2013. He underwent months of intensive treatment, including an operation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. He currently has scans every 3 months to monitor his progress.   

Ffion Jackson, 13, from Penarth, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in April 2012. She underwent an intensive course of chemotherapy and was put in isolation in January 2013 before being declared in remission. 

All the children love the magical nature of Christmas, including Santa, snow, reindeer and elves, so Lapland provided their perfect wish. The festive Lapland fun included a husky ride, meeting reindeer and elves, riding skidoos and looking around Santa’s Workshop, before setting off through the winter wonderland in search of Father Christmas! 

Alexandre’s Mum Sonia said: “In Lapland we forgot about everything else and it was like nothing was ever wrong with Alexandre. We were constantly happy and the wish made Alexandre feel like a normal child again. We had never laughed so much our lives – it was amazing.”

There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition. This year, we hope to grant 900 wishes and need to raise £7 million to continue granting wishes in the future.  Make-A-Wish receives no government funding – so every donation really does count.  

To make a donation or refer a child to Make-A-Wish please visit our website here: http://www.make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 40 50 70.

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For more information about this news release please contact:
Charlotte Capper: T: 01276 405093 M: 07557563214 
E: charlotte.capper@makeawish.org.uk 

Notes to editors:
1.    More photos available. 
2.    Please note that Make-A-Wish does not use phrases such as ‘terminally ill’ in order to respect the sensitive nature of life-threatening conditions and what they mean to children and young people and their families. We would ask that this approach is followed and that the term ‘life-threatening conditions’ is used in material for publication.
3.    Make-A-Wish should be referred to as Make-A-Wish® UK in the first instance. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ is suitable. We would ask that you try to keep ‘Make-A-Wish’ on the same line.
4.    Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. The charity was founded in the UK in 1986. Registered charity number: 295672/SC037479 www.make-a-wish.org.uk.