"It was an escape from a nightmare - a shot of pure happiness" | Make-A-Wish
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may smiling in her princess dress
tragically passed away due to cancer
I wished to become a princess

"We were numb," May's parents recall the day they found out their daughter’s diagnosis.

By the time the doctors told them their little girl was living with cancer she was already at stage 4 – the highest risk.

It was an aggressive tumour and had spread from her pelvis into her lungs.

Her parents first noticed something was wrong when her tummy began to swell. The doctors originally thought it was constipation and gave her the appropriate medicine.

It did nothing and her stomach continued to swell. "By the time she was scanned she looked 8 months pregnant," May’s mum Samantha told us. "She endured lots of tests, poking and prodding – including an enema – can you imagine? It’s hard enough to get children to take Calpol."

An ultrasound revealed a mass – "Is it cancer?" Samantha asked the doctor.

May's parent’s worst nightmares were confirmed when their 4 year old daughter's MRI came back. May had a rare type of cancer that affects children.

The doctors explained she would have to endure operations, biopsies, blood transfusions, lumbar punctures. "It was all a blur," Samantha told us.

Samantha remembers having to inject her daughter in the legs. "I felt awful. She didn’t let it get her down though; she’d soon be back to her cheeky vivacious self!"

One of the hardest moments was when May's hair fell out. "Seeing all her long, brown hair on the pillow every morning – it was heartbreaking. She cried and cried."

After going through so much pain and discomfort, May deserved to feel totally special.

With kind donations from people like you we were able to do that – when we granted her wish to become a princess for the day!

It was the last time her parents saw their little girl truly happy.

"The wish meant we could spend time together as a normal family,” Samantha told us. “It was a much-needed escape from this nightmare we were going through – a few moments of calm – a shot of pure happiness.”

We'd organised for the whole day to make May feel totally like a princess: complete with a gorgeous dress and her very own drawn carriage pulled by white horses. May had tea at Thornbury castle and spent the night in a four-poster bed in its turret! It was so exciting for May – and a totally magical time.

May's parents remember her saying: "I am a true princess."

Tragically, May passed away two months after her wish. She had one last carriage ride to her resting place, pulled by white horses – just like on her wish.

For May's parents the wish remains a time of pure happiness – and a memory they will always treasure now she is no longer with them.  


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Sponsored donations made towards a child’s wish will go towards their One True Wish. If a child’s wish receives over funding the additional donations will be put towards a similar wish. If a child's wish doesn't reach 100% funding their wish will still take place and general funds will be used.