04/101/2010 – Bonnie Lloyd, aged 9, from Connah’s Quay, Deeside, has had her wish to go to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida and swim with dolphins granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
Diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis, a life shortening condition that affects all the organs of the body, especially the lungs, Bonnie requires daily medication and physiotherapy to help her combat the symptoms of the illness and has become used to frequent hospital visits and time away from school.
When her grandmother, Frances, referred Bonnie to Starlight, the little girl knew immediately what her wish would be – to go to Disneyland to swim with dolphins and meet all of her favourite characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Cinderella.
Mum Toni said that, despite the challenges that the condition has presented her daughter with, Bonnie “takes every day in her stride. She is a very brave girl and the way that she copes with her difficulties is far beyond her nine years.”
Starlight arranged for a seven day holiday for Bonnie, her mum and stepfather Pau to the world renowned Florida resort, where Bonnie could play with dolphins in the water and enjoy all the fun and entertainment on offer at Disneyworld.
“We had the most amazing time, “said mum Toni. “We are used to spending time one-to-one to her with when she is feeling unwell so it was really wonderful for us to get some special time with her when she was having fun and we could really enjoy each other’s company.
“You always read stories about the difference it makes for children with conditions like Bonnie’s to swim with dolphins but it is hard to believe it until you have seen it. She has been totally transformed by the trip and since we returned home she has been a ball of happy energy. Even her school and her friends have remarked on how uplifted she seems. It really was a magical wish fulfilled for all of 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.