Dreams Come True
Here are some stories of dreams that have happened recently.
“We are very grateful to Dreams Come True for our holiday. Often a disability limits what you can do, but in the countryside we feel calm, happy and free.”
Patrick, is a very special boy, he was born prematurely at 29 weeks and was tiny, weighing only one pound 12 ounces. When he was born he had a severe bowel condition and nearly died. Katy said: “Against the odds, Patrick’s pulled through and we feel so lucky to have him.”
As a baby, Katy, instinctively felt Patrick’s development was delayed and an MRI scan revealed he was brain damaged. Patrick also suffers from a motor disorder, learning difficulties, autism and is visually impaired, now registered blind. “When he was born his diagnosis was severe and the expectations of what he could achieve were not very high.” Katy, said, Patrick is now thriving and loves life: “Patrick is a really quirky character with a great sense of humour. On paper he has a whole lot of problems but he is full of beans and we are incredibly proud of him.”
Ten-year-old Patrick always seems calm in the countryside and Dreams Come True arranged for Patrick, Katy, his grandparents and his beloved dog Daisy Doo to have a week’s holiday in a cottage on an organic farm in North Yorkshire. Patrick felt right at home, he loved being close to the coast and enjoyed feeding the animals. There was also and a wonderful indoor heated swimming pool that was shared between 5 rental cottages.
The North Yorkshire farm fulfilled everything they had dreamed of. It was a safe, happy environment with animals at the bottom of the garden. Because Patrick is partially sighted it took him a bit of time to orientate himself around the cottage, but he soon gained confidence and enjoyed exploring his new surroundings.
Patrick loves swimming but his sensory needs means he finds it difficult to cope in noisy public swimming pools. Katy said he could walk to the pool from the house, swim in the shallow end and because his body temperature drops after swimming he could go back for a warm bath. Katy said: “Patrick loved the pool and was able to use it happily and calmly without getting overwhelmed by the usual noises of others like he does in public pools. He was so calm and happy splashing about in the shallow end that I was even able to do some lengths!” Patrick finds it hard to express his emotions, but in the countryside he seems to be at ease, which makes Katy relax, the holiday was a change from routine and a much-needed breath of fresh air. Since the holiday, Katy and Patrick have decided to move to the countryside, Katy said: “We are very grateful to Dreams Come True for our holiday. Often a disability limits what you can do, but in the countryside we feel calm, happy and free.”
“It was the perfect way to end my dream, it was such an amazing experience. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you and everyone who worked to turn this dream into a reality.”
Rob is 22 and a huge American Football fan and has always dreamed of going to the world-famous Super Bowl. However, the most-sought after tickets are like gold dust... but this did not deter our dreams co-ordinator who moved heaven and earth to ensure Rob got his dream.
Rob, from Newbury, Berkshire, was only 15 when he was diagnosed with Alveola Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer. He was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy which was completed in June 2010 but Rob’s recovery was slow. With great determination, Rob continued to make plans for his future and went off to university but had to take a year off because of his treatment - which meant a further year’s study. Thankfully, he is now doing really well, but is monitored regularly.
Rob’s favourite American Football team are the San Francisco 49ers and his dream was to go to the Super Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona, the highlight of the NFL year, with his friend Stuart.
After some considerable time and a lot of hard work and persuasion our Dreams Come True co-ordinator, Wendy managed to secure 2 tickets to the Super Bowl. She was in New York on holiday and while she was there she visited the NFL offices in Park Avenue, New York. As she had travelled so far and was persistent, Wendy was given a personal assurance that she would get the tickets. Wendy said: “This is the furthest we have ever travelled to fulfil a dream, we found the right people, did the right stuff and we got the tickets to make the dream come true. To say they were hard to come by is an understatement however, we did it and arranged for Rob and his childhood friend Stewart to spend 4 nights/5 days in Glendale, Arizona.”
The boys flew out at the end of January and went to a basketball game, which Stewart had arranged as a thank you to Rob for taking him to the Super Bowl, they did some sight-seeing on Saturday and then went to the game on the Sunday.
After returning, Rob said the trip was out-of-this world and everything he could have dreamed of: “I have been a fan of American Football for 8 years now and I have dreamed of going to a game for the longest time. The whole trip was an absolute blast, we spent the first day going into downtown Phoenix and soaking in the atmosphere before seeing the Phoenix Suns basketball team win. The following day we spent going to the various NFL Experience events which were based around the city as well as dong some shopping.
Then Sunday was the big day; my friend Stu and I got to the game early to enjoy some of the tailgate activities. The game itself was amazing and everything I could have hoped for. I can't begin to describe how much fun we had at the game. The half time show with Katy Perry was brilliant and the game had such a dramatic ending with all the seats being empty as everyone was standing. It was the perfect way to end my dream, it was such an amazing experience. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you and everyone who worked to turn this dream into a reality.”
Astrid’s Christmas Dream in New York
“This was the best holiday I could ever have dreamed of!”
Twenty-two year-old Astrid from Cardiff wanted something to look forward after undergoing six months of intensive treatment for Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Astrid’s dream was to go to New York City for Christmas and visit all of the iconic landmarks. Thankfully, Astrid is on the road to recovery and this is her story...
“In April 2012 at the age of 19 I was diagnosed with Stage IVb Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Whilst undergoing six months of chemotherapy at the University Hospital Wales, I heard about Dreams Come True. I have always loved travelling, and before my diagnosis I was supposed to be moving to France to live for a year as part of my university course. One city that I’ve always dreamed of visiting is New York with my boyfriend and I always intended to save up to go there. However after my diagnosis, I became aware that my dreams of visiting the United States would have to be on long term hold. There was no way I could now afford a holiday to the States, not only because I was unwell but also because the cost of my travel insurance was sky high.
Within weeks of applying to Dreams Come True, I received a letter to say my dream had been accepted and that I would be able to go to New York after all! This brought more than just a smile to my face – not only did it gave me something to look forward but it gave me the determination to fight to ensure I was well enough to enjoy such an amazing opportunity.
In May 2014, I received a much awaited phone call from my Dreams Come True Co-ordinator to confirm that my dream had now reached the top of the pile and that the planning could begin! After looking at potential dates and hotels, I cheekily asked if there was any chance that we could spend Christmas Day, 2014 in New York. To my surprise, Christmas Day was given the go-ahead and within just a few days of organising - my dream was fast becoming a reality.
The months flew by and the holiday was like a whirl-wind. From the moment the plane took off to the moment it landed back again in Heathrow, it really was a dream come true! It was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. In New York, we experienced things I never thought I’d get the chance to. We visited Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Rockefeller Centre and so much more. We stayed in a beautiful hotel located within a stone’s throw away from the Empire State Building and Macy’s. What more could I have ever wished for? But for me the most memorable experience was waking up on Christmas morning in NYC – the day I had been most looking forward to. After waking up early we walked the eerily quiet 10 or so blocks from my hotel to Central Park and went ice-skating! It was magical, the weather was amazing and I couldn’t think of anywhere else in the world I would have rather been than ice skating with my partner in Central Park on a very festive Christmas morning.
A few days after that magical morning, it was time to leave with a suitcase full of amazing life-long memories and return to the UK. Visiting New York really was a dream come true and without such an amazing charity I’m not sure it would ever have been a dream that I could have realised. Looking forward to New York helped me fight and gave me something to look forward to and looking back on New York brings a huge grin to my face thinking about all the fun I had and the memories that we made. Thanks Dreams Come True.”