Ben’s Disney dreams come true in Florida
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The second episode in this thought-provoking series on Starlight Children’s Foundation centres around the wish of fourteen year old Ben from Doncaster. Unlike Becky from the series’ first episode, Ben was born with a life threatening condition and, as a result, his whole childhood has been a challenge to stay healthy.
Ben and his younger sister Ella both suffer from the genetic condition cystic fibrosis. This is a life shortening disease that affects all of the major organs and particularly the lungs and it means that, for Ben and Ella, each day is a new battle against the disease with medication and physiotherapy.
In an emotional introduction to their story, Ben’s parents Karen and Peter explain that, having been told that Ben and Ella were unlikely to live beyond the age of thirteen, every day with their children is precious. The bond between the two siblings and with their little brother and parents is palpable throughout the programme and is highlighted by Ben’s choice of wish – a family holiday.
We follow the family to Disneyland in Orlando, Florida, where they enjoy a dream holiday, with wonderful surprises and exciting appearances from the magical world of Disney that have the whole family enchanted. It is clear however that, just as much as the here and now, the importance of this holiday for Ben, Ella and their family lies in the memory that they will take home with them. In a candid interview Ben sums this up, saying: “It’s something that we can all keep in our heads and never forget.”
Reminding us that Starlight survives on its supporters alone, this episode also gives us a fascinating insight into the breadth of the charity’s fundraising activities: the corporate team are drumming up funds with Starlight fairies and celebrity supporters in a one day event in Canary Wharf, while London cabbie Steve is training for a thirty hour swim across the Channel and back to give families like Ben’s memories for life.
More details and photos from Ben’s wish
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