Swim with dolphins fulfils teen’s dream
A DISABLED teenager’s dreams came true when she went on a holiday of a lifetime and swam with dolphins - and now her grateful mum is fundraising for the charity which made it possible.
A DISABLED teenager’s dreams came true when she went on a holiday of a lifetime and swam with dolphins – and now her grateful mum is fundraising for the charity which made it possible.
Lauren Vincent, of Clacton, was born with a bowel disorder called Hirschsprung’s Disease and also has autism and learning difficulties.
The 14-year-old spent much of her early life in hospital after her premature birth and continues to have treatment at Great Ormond Street and University College hospitals in London.
But last month the brave youngster and her mother, Sue Savva, spent a week at Disneyland in Florida thanks to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which grants wishes for terminally and seriously ill children.
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Ms Savva said: “Lauren spent much of her early life in hospital so we had heard of Starlight as they provide entertainment for children in hospital.
“Lauren drew a picture and explained in her own words that she had never been on holiday abroad before and wanted to meet Disney characters.
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“We were amazed how quickly they came back to us to say we were going to Disneyland for a week.”
The 37-year-old and her daughter flew to America during the first week of March, joined by a friend who helped care for Lauren.
Although the teenager’s special needs meant she did not go on any of the rides, she was thrilled to meet the Disney characters and also spent a day at Discovery Cove, owned by Sealife, where she swam with dolphins.
Her mother said: “It was absolutely fantastic. Lauren just spent the whole day in the water.
“She really loves being in the water and spent a lot of time just floating. It was an amazing day.”
Since their return Ms Savva has joined Weight Watchers and is asking people to sponsor her for losing the pounds to boost the coffers of Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Ms Savva, who until recently worked for a charity supporting people with learning difficulties, said: “I would like to lose a minimum of two stones and it would be wonderful to help other children have their wish granted just like Lauren.
“It was the holiday of a lifetime and a wonderful, worry-free week away from hospitals and all the usual things.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Ms Savva can go to the Starlight website at www.starlight.org.uk, then click on ‘donate online’ in the top right hand corner and then find her name in the drop down menu under ‘are you sponsoring/supporting someone?’