Jonathan aged 4 was diagnosed with a brain tumour that was surgically removed. Jonathan then completed 6 weeks of radiotherapy which was followed by twelve months of continuous chemotherapy.
Jonathan’s mum and dad, Philip and Julie, decided to plan a special holiday for Jonathan to visit Disneyland in Florida. They contacted Kids Cancer Charity with this enquiry and after checking with Jonathan’s consultant made reservations for the charity’s ‘American Dream Experience’ - a two week visit to Florida commencing as soon as Jonathan’s treatment had been completed. Our corporate partner, Virgin Atlantic booked the flights, and a week’s accommodation at the world renowned ‘Give Kids the World’ village was reserved, followed by a second week at the charity’s own Villa.
The countdown began with Jonathan and his older brother, Peter, eagerly crossing off the weeks on the calendar. When the chemotherapy made Jonathan feel so unwell that he could not get out of bed, the only thing that would raise a smile was pictures of Mickey and his friends in the sunshine state.
Just two weeks before the departure date, disaster struck when Jonathan’s blood counts became perilously low and the concern was that his illness had relapsed. Urgent tests were arranged and the consultant warned that the family may not be able to go to Florida.
The charity’s strong partnerships with Virgin Atlantic and Give Kids the World Village, made it possible for the charity to put the family’s booking on hold until the results of follow up tests were known. With just two days to go, the tests revealed that Jonathan had ‘only’ contracted glandular fever and that provided the family took extra care, they could continue with their holiday plans.
The family have now returned from their holiday, excitedly talking of their experiences and the fun and enjoyment they were able to have. Jonathan flourished in the Florida sunshine and went from strength to strength, sleeping and eating far better than they could have hoped for. ‘It was so good just to be a normal family again.’ Without the support of the charity and its partner organisations, this holiday would not have been possible. Also knowing that there would be no financial implications if the holiday had been cancelled made all the difference.
Jonathan, Peter, Philip and Julie were just a few of nearly 300 people who benefitted from our American experience in the last year.