A five-year-old boy who is living with a brain tumour had his Christmas wish come true when he flew to Lapland to meet Father Christmas this month.
William Pedersen has been nicknamed ‘The Christmas Kid’ by his family because he simply loves the festive holiday.
The boy, who was undergoing chemotherapy and steroid treatment, was whisked away to a snowy winter wonderland in Lapland by Make-A-Wish UK.
Upon arrival, William and his family were kitted out in thermal clothing before they settled down for the evening.
They were treated to a husky ride, met some of the reindeer and elves, rode skidoos and got to look around Santa’s Workshop, before setting off through the winter wonderland in search of Father Christmas.
Mum, Gemma, said: “The wish lifted all our spirits. The last three Christmases have been extremely difficult but we now feel like we are a special family again and it has helped put the past behind us. We were all smiling from ear to ear on the trip – it was truly magical.”
When William was 3 and a half years old, his family noticed his hand was limp and his smile lopsided. After a visit to hospital and an MRI scan, the family were given the devastating news that William had a cancerous lump the size of an egg on his brain.
Doctors were unable to operate because the tumour was very deep in the nervous system, so William underwent steroid and chemotherapy treatment.
When he was first diagnosed, the tumour was 5.4cm, but treatment shrunk it to 2.5cm.
William finished chemotherapy in July 2015, but the tumour is still there and he requires frequent monitoring.
Mum Gemma said: “We have all been through a lot, but at least now if things go wrong we know we will have done something William loves while he is well.
“It will be an amazing memory to look back on and draw strength from if we have to go through more hard times in the future.”
There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition and more than 1,000 of them will turn to Make-A-Wish this year.
A spokesman for Make-A-Wish UK said: “We want to grant a wish to every eligible child, but can’t do that without the generosity of the public.
“Make-A-Wish receives no government funding – so every donation really does count.”
To make a donation or refer a child to Make-A-Wish, visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk or call 01276 405070.
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