23/05/2011 – Six year old Francesco Bede-Cox from Whitstable in Kent has had his dearest wish to go swimming with dolphins granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
In May 2007, Francesco was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer that is common in children called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and, in order to fight the disease, he underwent an intensive and lengthy course of treatment.
Francesco’s mum Marisa describes her son as “a very positive boy, who is full of energy and clearly very brave judging from the way he has positively fought his illness.” The youngster, who enjoys sports such as golf, rugby, basketball and football and loves superheroes and watching Star Wars with his dad, Jeremy, was referred to Starlight for a once-in-a-lifetime when he was being treated for the disease.
Although he first wanted to take a ride in a helicopter over a volcano, he then asked whether he could go swimming with dolphins and the charity arranged for him to travel with his family to Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida, which is a beautiful resort renowned for the special experiences with dolphins that it offers.
Francesco’s mum Marisa told Starlight, “I have learnt many lessons from the frightening experience of his illness but Francesco is only little and I can’t see what he could learn in such a hard way. Having this wish granted means that Francesco has at least one pleasant memory out of such a terrifying situation and we want to thank Starlight very much for doing this for us.”
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.