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My name is Natalie and I'm the mother of an 11-year-old girl from Ballygowan, in Northern Ireland, who has chromosome disorder 18q deletion and pitt-hopkins syndrome, conditions that have left her immobile and non-verbal.
I'm appealing to my local community to support the charity that wants to treat my family to a dream holiday to Disney World, in Florida, in 2018.
In 2013, my daughter, Natasha, became highly at risk due to complications with her feeding tube. With no way to feed her I was left with the decision to either start palliative care with her, or allow her to undergo surgery which had a 1 in 5 chance of survival.
Natasha, who is a pupil at Tor Bank School, in Dundonald, spent a great amount of time in and out of hospital following the operation. She was in constant pain due to abnormal peristalsis and a blockage in the bowel, which required more surgery.
To get some much needed respite from her condition, I decided to apply for a place for Natasha on Caudwell Children’s annual Destination Dreams holiday to Disney World, in Florida.
Caudwell Children is a national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
The charity created Destination Dreams in 2007, to give 25 children with life threatening conditions, the opportunity to experience a ‘Dream’ holiday to Disney World each year.
I was overjoyed to learn that Natasha has been offered a place on the trip. However, the race is now on to raise the necessary funds to cover the cost of the holiday.
I was thrilled to learn that Natasha had been selected for the dream trip, I simply couldn’t believe it.
The families are really well looked after as the charity provide a dedicated team of paediatric doctors and nurses who are available 24/7. They also take along over 40 volunteers to assist families around the theme parks.
Because of the associated costs of taking very poorly children overseas the charity has to pay, on average, £12,000 per family.
However, with the current economic climate there’s always the risk that they won’t be able to raise enough money by the time the holiday comes around in December 2018.
Therefore, all the families on the trip have decided to appeal to local communities to ensure that we get on that plane to Florida in December.
The holiday is really important for all of the family. With Natasha spending the majority of her time in hospital, her brother had to spend a lot of time away to be looked after by his Grandmother, therefore a family trip would allow Natasha to have more time to bond with him.
The trip would create special memories for us all to cherish as a family, having the chance to spend quality time together would be brilliant.
Natasha loves Disney music and her bedroom is themed with Disney Princesses.
The trip will grant Natasha her wish, as she really enjoys being her mummy’s very own princess,.
I hope the public support our fundraising campaign so that we can raise the money that we need to get on the plane to Florida.
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