Magical adventure to Lapland awaits for poorly children
A MAGICAL adventure is just around the corner for children with life-threatening and serious illnesses.
The annual Lapland trip, hosted by Pat Wright and her daughter Joanne Heywood, of the When You Wish Upon A Star charity, will take flight on Tuesday.
For one North East Lincolnshire teenager who underwent an eight-hour operation to straighten his spine with two metal rods, the realisation of attending the trip is hard to take in.
Harvey Legg, of Holton-le-Clay, will join others from across the borough next week.
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The 13-year-old, who has a rare genetic condition which affected his spine, as reported, said: "I cannot believe I have been asked to go.
"I have researched all about it and the place looks amazing.
"I have never done something like this before but I think I am more excited about being able to throw a snowball at my mum.
"I also like the idea of riding a mini snowmobile while out there.
"After having the operation to straighten my spine, I feel a lot better and I see Lapland as more of a celebration for me getting this far."
Last year more than 40 children from North and North East Lincolnshire who have serious illnesses and life-limiting conditions, could not contain their excitement as they joined the trip.
The day not only enables them to forget their woes but it allows their parents and carers to share the fun.
For Joanne and Pat, their aim is to provide all children with the best day of their lives.
Joanne said: "For some of these children whose lives are regularly surrounded by medical equipment and hospital visits, the trip is a chance to take them out of that environment and into a place of sheer delight.
"We have to remember that not every child has a life-threatening condition, for some they will go on to see plenty more Christmases.
"However we have had others that have sadly passed away shortly after visiting Lapland.
"This makes us realise just how important the work we are doing is – it's giving some children a memory to cherish during their end of life."
From reindeer and mini snowmobile rides to tandem skiing, there will be something for everyone to enjoy on the day.
But a visit to the Christmas capital would not be complete without an appearance from Santa Claus.
Joanne said: "Each year we have such a busy schedule but the children love every minute, their beaming faces tell a story on its own.
"The feeling we get when parents' faces light up once their child meets Santa, is priceless.
"That is why we are constantly raising money, to be able to give other families the same experience the following year."
See your Grimsby Telegraph next week for coverage of the trip.