A teenager from Lutterworth had a dream come true, when a charity whisked her to Disneyland Paris.
Sophie Thomas (19) wanted to meet Remy from Ratatouille, the favourite character in her favourite film.
Her wish was granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children and young people with serious and terminal illness.
Sophie was born with congenital hydrocephalus and spina bifida.
As a result of her condition, Sophie is wheelchair bound, and has a number of complex health needs. She has also had to undergo major surgery in the past two years.
Despite this, her mum, Kate, who acts as Sophie’s carer, said, “Sophie is a happy girl and full of life. She is very loving and charms everyone she meets.”
Sophie loves everything Disney, and has watched the animated film Ratatouille hundreds of times.
So when she was referred to the charity Starlight for a wish, she knew exactly what she wanted …a trip to Disneyland Paris to meet Remy, the leading rat character from Ratatouille!
She was originally meant to go on her wish in July 2015 but became seriously ill with abdominal adhesions.
Kate said, “It was awful. Sophie spent the year doubled up in pain.”
After an operation in January this year, though, Sophie finally became well enough to travel.
Starlight arranged for Sophie, her mum Kate, dad Graham and her nurse Jeni to spend two fantastic days in Disneyland Paris.
The family stayed at the Sequoia Lodge which overlooks Lake Disney and is surrounded by a redwood forest.
The family were given Disney park hopper tickets which meant that they didn’t have to queue for any of the rides.
But Kate said: “The highlight of the whole trip was the look on Sophie’s face when Remy peered around the corner. It was just magical.”
To top off the trip, Sophie and her family ate in Disneyland’s Bistrot Chez Rémy, a fantastical restaurant where you dine as a “rat-sized” customer, surrounded by oversized ornaments from the human kitchens of Le Ratatouille!
Kate said: “Sophie’s Starlight Wish was the first really good weekend she’d had since her operation.
“It was like having Sophie back again. Going away as a family has helped us change our outlook on things and Sophie loved every second of it!”
Starlight brightens the lives of seriously and terminally ill children by granting wishes and by providing fun, entertainment, laughter and distraction for children in every children’s hospital ward and hospice in the UK.
All Starlight’s activities are aimed at distracting children from their illnesses.
Celebrity supporters include actor Bill Nighy and writer/presenter Stephen Fry.
You can refer a child for a Starlight Wish, or make a donation to the charity to help other children like Sophie.
Visit the charity’s website at www.starlight.org.uk