11/04/2011 – Sixteen year old Daniel Woodhead, from Bolton-on-Dearne, Rotherham, has had his dearest wish to be able to feed his fish by hand granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation with the help of Dobbies Garden World, Chesterfield.
Daniel, or Dan as he is known by his family, was diagnosed shortly after birth with severe cerebral palsy, which means that he is wheelchair-bound and requires two carers with him at all times. Despite the medical difficulties he faces, Dan’s parents describe their son as “a very pleasant young man, who likes to socialise”.
Due to his excess movements, the nature-loving teenager is frightened to stroke animals in case he hurts them but he enjoys touching water and watching his dad feed his fish in the family’s garden pond. When Dan was referred to Starlight for a once-in-a-lifetime wish, his family asked him what he would like more than anything else and Dan said, through the electronic talker he uses to communicate, “hand – water – fish – please”.
The family pond is set very low to the ground and, from his wheel chair, Dan is not able to reach the water. To grant Dan’s wish to feed his fish by hand, Starlight arranged for the pond to be raised by a couple of feet with the help of one of its generous corporate supporters, Dobbies Garden World.
On 23 March, the team from the local Dobbies store in Chesterfield, which included Community Champion Brian Parker, arrived at his home to raise the pond and, while they were there, they also added some exciting water features that will make Dan’s pond extra special.
Community Champion Brian said: “We are delighted to have worked with Starlight to grant Dan’s wish. Through our community programme, ‘Here We Grow’, we have donated our time and expertise to raise the pond and add in some new features for Dan to enjoy.
“As a national company we have supported Starlight through fundraising in all our stores and are thrilled to be part of helping children’s wishes come true. “
Dan’s mum, Gill, told Starlight: “The pond is just brilliant and Dan is out there every day with his fish. The team from Dobbies were simply fantastic and they went out of their way to make sure that it was the best pond ever for Dan – I can’t thank them and Starlight enough.”
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.