Alisha Whyteside, aged six, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia earlier this year, and is currently receiving advanced specialist treatment.
Her sister Leah (8) had her long hair cut off to raise cash for the leukaemia charity, and – as reported in the News – her example sparked a huge, spontaneous community campaign in the area.
The Whyteside family were nominated to go on a trip to Disneyland, funded by blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, .
Alisha is currently on the UKALL2011 trial which is funded by the charity.
Her mum Gillian said: “Our world turned upside down in March this year with Alisha’s diagnosis, including missing our family holiday which Alisha and her sisters were not best pleased about.
“But the trials funded by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research have advanced treatment so much that a high percentage of patients survive, which gives us all great hope.
“We have all had to get used to a different way of life with all the hospital visits and medication.
“The trip to Disneyland has been an incredible break as well as an amazing reward for Alisha’s hard work and for her sisters who have supported her through treatment.
“It was brilliant to see all of our children with faces full of smiles again. They loved all the rides, the Disney parade and the fireworks.
“The experience was also a great inspiration to us.
Seeing all the children who were further on in their treatment, and speaking to other families who have been through or are going through the same challenges as we are, was really nice.”
Rebecca Andlaw, special events coordinator at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research said: “Having the opportunity to spend time getting to know children like Alisha and her family, sharing their experiences and hearing why the trip is so important to them, was priceless.
The awe and excitement of being in Disney was evident not only in the children’s faces, but their parents too! I’m delighted we could play a part in creating lasting memories for such a deserving family.”
The charity champions patients’ needs by influencing relevant policy and decision makers.
Its communities give blood cancer patients and their families a place where they can find support and information and share their journey with other people who can relate to what they are going through.
Around 38,000 people of all ages, from children to adults, are diagnosed with blood cancers and related disorders every year across the UK.