Seven-year-old Ella, from Bridgend in Wales, is living with Turner Syndrome, a genetic disorder that only affects girls. When she was five, doctors were concerned that Ella was not growing as she should be, and she had to have lots of tests before she was finally diagnosed.
Turner Syndrome can have many associated conditions which Ella and her family are fighting to control.
Ella is a bubbly character who manages to always keep positive. Every night Ella has to inject herself with a growth hormone. It’s been just over a year of painful injections so far, and initially it broke Ella’s heart - she would cry as it was hard for her to understand.
Now, she calls the injection her ‘magic pen’ and is proud of the bruises it leaves on her legs as she knows it is helping her to grow big and strong. She couldn’t wait to show the magic pen to the Wish Visitors when they came to discuss Ella’s One True Wish.
Ella wished to meet Santa in the snow and to go on a sleigh, so Wishgranter Dawn arranged for her to do all of this at Lapland UK, together with all her family.
She wanted to show Santa her ‘magic pen’ because when Ella met him at a local grotto last year, he told her that he was very proud of her for bravely having her injections every night.
The royal wave
The week before her wish, Ella came down with Scarlet Fever, but she battled through just in time to meet Santa. Mum Casey said Ella was so excited, especially when she saw the ‘massive’ limousine that arrived to take her to Lapland UK. She and her brother Ollie were doing the royal wave out of the window and ‘cheers-ing’ each other with glasses of lemonade!
Star of the show
As soon as they stepped in to Lapland UK, it was all about Ella.
She wore her Make-A-Wish badge and new sparkly silver coat and everyone made her the star of the show. “Every moment was magical,” said Casey, “Ella decorated gingerbread men, went ice skating, met huskies and reindeer and elves, and was amazed when Santa knew all about Ella. Thankfully, she was on his ‘Good’ list and she had this big cheesy grin on all day.”
Time to shine
Mum Casey says, “Ella is over the moon that her wish has been granted – it was her very own day to do everything she dreams of. She’ll never forget it. Ella said to me, ‘We’re so lucky to be here and it’s all because of my nasty needle!’ We don’t know how Ella’s condition will affect her long-term or how long her treatment will last but her wish gave our whole family something to outweigh all the bad times we’ve gone through. She’s been so strong and this is her time to shine.”
"We are so grateful to have been able to spend her wish all together and we are all so proud of her. The injections are awful for Ella, and she endures a lot of tests – her wish was a reward for being brave and strong and taking it all in her stride. It’s not nice for her but she never complains, she knows the treatment she goes through will benefit her and she’s really mature about it."
When we caught up with Ella after her wish, she was cuddled up in PJs after the excitement of meeting Santa, eagerly awaiting him coming to visit the house on Christmas Eve!