Plea to help send youngster on dream Disney trip

Rebecca Spooner and mother Lesley. Picture: Neil Hanna
Rebecca Spooner and mother Lesley. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A MOTHER has made a plea for help to send her disabled daughter to Disney World after the youngster was left devastated by the death of her dad.

Rebecca Spooner, 11, was diagnosed with Costello syndrome when she was four years old, following a premature birth at just 34 weeks.

Rebecca requires daily injections of growth hormones due to her short stature

Lesley Spooner

The condition, which has left the Gorebridge Primary School pupil with a number of sensory issues, including deteriorating vision, has recently been compounded due to the tragic death of her father, Pete, through kidney cancer at the age of 43.

Mother Lesley is now determined to bring a little joy back into her daughter’s life and was delighted when she was informed that Rebecca was the only Scottish child to have been selected for Caudwell Children’s annual Destination Dreams holiday to Disney World, in Florida.

But she now faces a race against time to raise the necessary funds to cover some of the cost of the holiday.

Lesley, 45, said: “It costs the charity on average £10,000 to take each of the 25 families on this once-in-a-lifetime holiday, which includes a dedicated team of paediatric doctors and paramedics.

“The medical team is available 24/7, which gives families like ours real confidence. Rebecca requires daily injections of growth hormones due to her short stature.

“She also has low muscle tone, hypermobility in her joints and hypertonia, a condition marked by an abnormal increase in muscle tension.

“So the fact that we have dedicated medical support is crucial for us.”

Lesley said she was determined to show Rebecca and her sister, Catherine, that it was possible to enjoy life.

“Their dad, Pete, wanted them to have fun,” she said.

“Destination Dreams will give Rebecca and Catherine the opportunity to have a great time together and create some magical childhood memories.”

Caudwell Children’s chief executive, Trudi Beswick, is urging the community to get behind Rebecca’s appeal.

She said: “For many families caring for children with terminal or life-threatening conditions, the thought of leaving the protected environment of their home town, and their regular medical support, fills them with dread.

“[But we] provide 24-hour professional medical provision and a team of volunteers for the duration of the trip.

“Unfortunately, the level of assistance that the families need doesn’t come cheap. That’s why it’s vital that Rebecca gets the fundraising support that she needs.”

n Donations can be made through www.justgiving.com/rebecca4florida or by texting DEST66 £3 (or other amount) to 70070.

newsen@edinburghnews.com