People's generosity leads to dream Disneyland trip for familyBy Becky Barnes
March 19, 2013
A family went on the trip of a lifetime – thanks to the kindness of strangers.
The Elkingtons launched an appeal last October for donations to go to Disneyland Paris after they were told disabled 19-year-old Alex’s next cold or chest infection could be fatal.
And through their fundraising efforts, generous donations and a last-minute loan, the family from Priestwood were able to go away for four nights and five days at the end of February.
Dad Clive, 47, of Moordale Avenue, said: “It was fantastic.
“Alex loved it, he loves Disney and he really did get so much out of it.
“He was smiling all the time, it was just what we wanted.
“I cannot express how grateful we are for people giving up their hard-earned cash for Alex.”
One stranger was particularly significant in helping the family reach their £4,000 goal when he and his wife gave the family £500 in an envelope just before Christmas.
Father-of-five Clive said: “We were overwhelmed and burst into tears.
“It was amazing – that is just so much money.
“We didn’t know how to thank them or what to say.”
Wheelchair-bound Alex has needed round-the-clock care since he suffered irreversible brain damage during a complicated birth and also suffers from cerebral palsy.
Last April his family were told the devastating news his squashed organs and restricted windpipe meant he could die from a chest infection.
It was not only members of the public who rallied support, but Disneyland staff also made sure the family’s trip was memorable.
Clive said: “We got the biggest surprise when the manager of the restaurant took us to one of the private suites, told us to close our eyes and when we opened them we had loads of characters in the room with us and they made an enormous fuss of Alex.
“We were very emotional as it was an amazing end to our last night.”
Clive added: “We would like to say an enormous thank you to everybody who helped us – we really do appreciate it. If people could have seen Alex’s face when the characters walked up to him they would have seen how much it meant.”