19/10/2010 – Gemma Flowers, aged 11, from Lancing in West Sussex, has had her greatest wish to go to Disneyland Paris granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
Last year, Gemma was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. As a result, Gemma has spent eight weeks in hospital and is currently undergoing maintenance chemotherapy, which she will require for a duration of two years and three months. Due to the treatment, Gemma has lost her hair three times and has endured pain all over her body from the steroids, which has meant that she has sometimes had to use a wheelchair when her legs hurt.
Despite these difficulties, Gemma’s mum Gill says that her daughter “has been so brave and cheerful. She is a very lively, happy and out-going child”. Earlier this year, Gemma unexpectedly had to go back in to hospital, which meant that her and her mum missed out on a much-needed family holiday, so her wish was to go away as a family to Disneyland Paris.
Gill said: “Gemma has been fantastic and, as we have never been to Disneyland Paris, it would be a dream come true for all four of us and a lovely thing to look forward to.” Gemma told Starlight: “I would love to go to Disneyland Paris and get away from hospitals.”
Starlight sent Gemma, her parents Gill and Gordon and brother Jason to Disneyland Paris to stay at the resort’s Sequoia Lodge, which is themed on America’s National Parks and looks out on to Lake Disney. The family enjoyed all the excitements on offer at the park and Gemma was able to meet some of her favourite Disney characters, including Minnie Mouse.
“We were all quite down when we had to miss the holiday in April and having a Starlight wish really gave Gemma something to look forward to and it helped to get us through what has been a tough six months. We all had a fantastic time and Gemma was very well throughout so was able to enjoy it all. The character breakfast was a big hit with plenty of autographs and our favourite park was The Studios, which entertained us for a whole day. The hotel was fabulous and the food very nice and plentiful. Gemma really appreciated the opportunity of all being on holiday together, thanks to Starlight!”
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.