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“I wish to go to Camp Bestival”
6 years old, Lancashire
Lennon’s wish ‘to go to Camp Bestival’ provided him and his family with a wealth of much needed happy memories.
"Lennon has been through a lot" said mum Nicola. Following a near fatal allergic reaction to medication, Nicola explained how the family had him baptised in intensive care, "we thought he wouldn’t pull through".
Six-year-old Lennon has a rare genetic condition; Mowat-Wilson syndrome. Due to the impact the condition has on his body and development, Lennon and his family can’t take part in everyday activities. "He’s not a typical 6-year-old and can’t do what most 6-year-olds do" said Nicola. Frequent seizures have had a heavy impact on the family. "It’s stressful" said Nicola, "If we go out everything needs to be planned around Lennon and whether its suitable for him and his needs".
It’s clear that Lennon and his family live in a world of isolation: a consequence of his rare genetic condition. Due to his needs, Nicola and dad, Leon are Lennon’s main carers: "I don’t go out. No one can watch him due to his medical needs, but he’s 100% worth it". The impact of Lennon’s illness can also be felt by his sister, eight-year-old Poppy. "She has suffered a lot. She hasn’t been able to have a normal childhood either". For example, having friends over is off the table. Lennon’s weakened immune system, the result of his condition, raises the risk of him catching a life-threatening bug.
Nevertheless, music never fails to raise Lennon’s spirts. "Lennon loves music, any kind!" explained mum Nicola. When Lennon is unhappy, all it takes is the sweet sound of music to turn his frown upside down. But Lennon isn’t just a music fanatic, he’s also one of Mr Tumble’s greatest fans. Nicola told us: "we thought of Camp Bestival as we knew Mr Tumble would be there!". The festival would give the family with the opportunity to spend some quality time together, something that they rarely get to have.
For sister Poppy, the wish gave her the chance to spend one-on-one time with mum and dad. The wish also meant mum and dad could spend some much-needed time together.
"It can be a lonely experience for me and his dad. We don’t get any time alone. No one can watch Lennon."
Lennon’s wish also relieved the stress of having to plan a day out. As Nicola explained, "The wish was different from any holiday. It was completely stress free. We were worried that there would be medical issue, but there were none at all. The wish gave us a break from these things". For Lennon and his family, the wish provided them the opportunity to escape from the worrisome world of seizures.
Nicola had never seen her son so happy: "He was pure joy, there was not one point where he was unhappy". Lennon wasn’t the only one who didn’t stop smiling, sister Poppy equally enjoyed the wish. "she loved it!".
The wish also uncovered new artists for music fanatic Lennon. Having never listened to Fatboy Slim before, Nicola said that he now loves Fatboy Slim! But for Lennon the highlight of the show was a band called the Showhawk Duo. Now, whenever mum plays either artist, Lennon’s mood is lifted: "he goes from really grumpy to really happy!"
The impact of Lennon's wish
"We all enjoyed ourselves so much. There is nothing we would have changed. It was the perfect wish"
Through Lennon’s wish, the family was able to find something that they can all enjoy together. Sister Poppy enjoyed the wish so much that she suggested that the family come back next year: "After Poppy suggested booking to go again next year we though why not".
Thanks to Lennon’s wish, the family now have long-lasting happy memories, new artists for Lennon to listen to and an event which allows them to spend quality time together every year. "Thank you so much" said Nicola "I don’t think we would ever be able to go without you. The wish has helped us discover our happy place."
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