13 year old Michael from Bristol, who's in remission from cancer, wished to see the Northern Lights and stay in an ice hotel.
A different boy
Before Michael was diagnosed with a type of cancer affecting the white blood cells called Hodgkin lymphoma at just 11 years old, he was a funny, outgoing and caring boy.
After months of tests, aggressive chemotherapy and missing out on his entire first year of secondary school, Michael has become quiet and anxious, and doesn’t like to be left alone.
Christmas in hospital
It all started around Christmas in 2015, when Michael had a cough that didn’t go away. He spent Christmas Eve in hospital and underwent relentless testing until the middle of January before receiving the devastating news.
Although Michael has fought hard and is now in remission, the tumour is still there as it cannot be removed, but the hope is that it will reduce as he grows.
Gina, Michael’s mum told us that the past two years have been petrifying, but she is so proud of her little boy. Michael is in Year 9 now and he wants to work in engineering when he’s older.
Grandad's trip to Lapland
The once-in-a-lifetime wish that Michael chose was to see the Northern Lights in Lapland! He was inspired after seeing photos from his Grandfather’s trip. Wishgranter Holli planned an incredible trip bursting with activities and in February 2018, the big day arrived.
Michael was so excited, he begged his mum to let them go to the airport early.
The Northern Lights Hunter
On the small plane to Finland, Michael got chatting with one of the air stewards who used to be a ‘Northern lights hunter’ and gave Michael lots of tips for his trip – this was a big thing for Michael who’s usually quiet and reserved.
The first day was brilliant and Michael loved meeting the huskies and going so fast on the snow safari that the sled flipped right over!
They went for a long walk in the snow and that night they slept in a wilderness hotel ‘pod’ with a glass ceiling and a sauna in the bathroom, in the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights, but sadly the clouds were out in force.
When things don't go to plan
The next day, Michael had a very bad temperature and felt very poorly, and after bravely heading out onto the snowmobile, he had to come back to the hotel where he collapsed onto the bed. Michael felt disappointed that he wasn’t able to enjoy all the activities he had been looking forward to for so long.
When Michael got back home, he stayed off school for another week with the flu before he recovered. Michael’s mum, Gina, said that it was just really unfortunate timing, and although they were sad things didn’t go quite to plan, they enjoyed the quality time away from technology and Michael is desperate to go back to see the Northern Lights one day soon.
Gina hoped Michael’s wish would bring back some of his lost confidence and give him new experiences to talk about. She says she feels like she has got her son back again now and his wish was a big step in helping him to rebuild his life.
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