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“I wish to go to Lapland”
7 years old, Southampton
At just seven years old, Alice, from Southampton, has lived most of her life in and out of hospital following a life-altering cancer diagnosis. As mum Jen told us, Christmas for Alice means “sparkly lights and family fun.” But hospital appointments often intrude on the tranquillity of Christmas time family fun. Whisked away to a wintery wonderland, Alice’s Lapland wish offered much needed respite for her and her family: “The wish meant we could have family time together during Christmas where we didn’t have to think about doctors appointments.”
At just eighteen months old, Alice was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer, when a tumour was discovered in her abdomen. “Her tumour was the size of three satsumas,” explained Mum. Unfortunately, Alice’s tumour secreted nasty chemicals leading to a host of lifelong disabilities: “The chemicals impacted her neurologically and have impacted her vision.”
When Alice was in year one of school, tragedy struck again. After complaining of a stomach ache, Doctors soon discovered that Alice’s bowel was not working properly. “It caused her to go into surgery,” said Mum “she now lives with a stoma bag (aka Mr Brownie) which is part of the family!”
Treatment for Alice’s cancer was intense, with Alice spending much of her childhood in and out of hospital undergoing chemotherapy. On top of this, Alice still has to take multiple daily medicines and treatments to rid her body of the chemicals that her tumour omitted: “Still to this day we are trying to get rid of the chemicals in her body.”
“She has been through so much and is still going through it,” said Mum, “she is such a brave girl and is very determined.”
For Alice, Christmas offers time away from tedious doctors appointments and the thought of constant medication. As Mum told us, “She loves the pretty lights and snow. Christmas for Alice means sparkly lights family fun and getting the decorations up and of course presents!”
Time in hospital means time away from family, but Christmas is a time where Alice can be at home with her family, enjoying all the “sparkly lights” and presents. That’s why her Lapland wish was needed for Alice, it allowed her to relax with her family in a wintery paradise away from the thought of hospital appointments and treatment.
"We were over the moon to find out that Alice was going to get her wish! We don’t often get to do the things that other families do, so it was so nice to know that we’d be able to go to Lapland as a family!"
Whilst on the wish, Alice was able to enjoy thrilling rides with huskies- “Without a doubt that was my favourite part,” explained Mum “we were able to steer the huskies ourselves!”
For Alice, her favourite part came when she was able to meet the man himself, Father Christmas. When we asked Alice what her favourite part was, she straight away answered “Santa!” without a moment of hesitation.
How Alice's wish helped
The wish gave the family time which they had missed out on during Alice’s hospital appointments, offering them all a wintery escape: “One huge thing was to have quality time with her without hospital appointments. Having time away from the medical stuff was amazing.”
“To see Alice smile after everything we’ve gone through was priceless,” said Mum “Thank you so much for supporting Make-A-Wish!”
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