Joshua’s wish comes true on La­p­land trip

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

A FIVE-year-old had his ul­ti­mate Christ­mas dream come true thanks to a wish-grant­ing char­ity for chil­dren suf­fer­ing from se­ri­ous and ter­mi­nal ill­nesses.

Joshua Whites­man’s dear­est wish was to meet the real Fa­ther Christ­mas and last week Starlight flew Joshua and his fam­ily and 12 other fam­i­lies to La­p­land for a trip of a life­time.

Joshua, from Ash­ford, was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia in Septem­ber 2006 and im­me­di­ately started in­tense treat­ment for this very se­ri­ous child­hood can­cer.

Col­lapsed

He has had chemo­ther­apy ev­ery day for the past three years – in­clud­ing two blocks of in­tense chemo­ther­apy, which have left him with se­vere nose bleeds, col­lapsed legs and an in­abil­ity to eat.

De­spite this he still re­mains pos­i­tive and had been looking for­ward to his spe­cial La­p­land visit for months.

Thanks to the Starlight Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion, Joshua, his mum and dad, sis­ter Am­ber and the other fam­i­lies spent four days at the home of Fa­ther Christ­mas, stay­ing in log cabins.

They en­joyed a for­est rein­deer sleigh ride and also met Santa in his grotto.

Joshua’s dad Toby said: “It was fan­tas­tic. The look on Joshua’s face when he saw Santa was one of the most amaz­ing things I’ve seen in my life.

“Ev­ery­thing was so mem­o­rable and mag­i­cal, be­yond all be­lief. We will never ever for­get the trip.”

De­spite a year of be­ing in and out of hospi­tal, Joshua is now back at school, his hair has grown and he is shortly due to fin­ish his chemo­ther­apy treat­ment.

For pic­ture spe­cial on other Christ­mas events see page 26.

Joshua with his mum Philippa, sis­ter Am­ber, eight, and dad Toby with Santa and one of his as­sis­tants

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