Little Chloe Rowland’s face lights up as she meets Tinker Bell. Mum Sarah looks on, her eyes filling with tears.
It’s a moment neither thought they’d see. Chloe, 11, has a range of health problems including severe kyphoscoliosis, where her spine is slowly crushing her heart and lungs.
This is their first family holiday and it may be their last, so they are treasuring every moment.
Chloe said: “All my dreams have come true today. I’ve wanted to meet Tinker Bell since I was two.
“I was so excited my legs were shaking. I loved her, but I did get a bit shy. I feel like I am a princess this week.
"I’m missing school but I don’t mind. I love school but I love this much more. It’s the best place I’ve ever been in my life.”
Chloe is one of 25 seriously ill children taken to Disney World as part of the Caudwell Children charity’s Destination Dreams programme.
And it means the world to the families. Sarah, 33, and partner Colin, 37, have no idea how long Chloe will live.
She is linked to an oxygen machine at night and used special breathing equipment to cope with the flight to Orlando with her parents and brother William, four.
Sarah, from Manchester, said: “We’ve never been on a family holiday before – and will probably never have one again – so this is extra special.
“We want as many memories as we can, so we told Chloe to draw up a bucket list and, of course, coming to Disney World was on it.”
Most of the children on this trip are unlikely to survive into adulthood. Yet thanks to this wonderful charity they have lived life to the full this Christmas.
Caudwell’s chief executive Trudi Beswick said: “By providing 24-hour professional medical provision, along with a team of volunteers, Destination Dreams gives families the chance to create happy memories, often for the first time.
“It doesn’t come cheap. But with the public’s support we’ll continue making dreams come true.”
- To donate to Caudwell Children and help other young people enjoy a fully-supported holiday to Disney World, visit caudwellchildren.com/donate/make-a-donation/
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