Disney dream in jeopardy

Funds appeal: Nathan with parents Clare and Ian and sister Rebecca
Funds appeal: Nathan with parents Clare and Ian and sister Rebecca
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A disabled boy’s dream trip to Disney World has been thrown into jeopardy by a charity’s fundraising crisis.

Nathan Large, 13, who suffers from cerebral palsy could miss out on his dream holiday due to a dramatic drop in donations to a charity offering holidays to children with life-limiting conditions.

Nathan is due to attend Caudwell Children’s annual Destination Dreams trip to Disney World in Florida, but now, just three weeks before he is due to depart, the trip faces cancellation.

Every year Caudwell Children offers dream trips for 25 UK families who are unable to take holidays because of their child’s serious medical condition.

The charity provides medical support and volunteer helpers to enable youngsters to fly out to exotic destinations with their families alongside its usual work of offering support equipment and and therapies to disabled children.

But it is struggling to find the cash it needs to pay for all the emergency medical equipment needed to care for the children o n the trip.

The charity pays the full cost of the trip and a gradual reduction in donations over the last few years means the budget for this year’s trip is short by £2,000 per family.

Now Nathan’s parents, Clare and Ian, from Penrose Avenue, Blackpool, need to raise the cash by November 29 - the date they are due to fly out - or leave Nathan disappointed.

Both work full time as well as caring for Nathan.

Clare, an assistant practice manager at Waterloo Medical Centre, said: “When we were accepted on the trip we were delighted.

“Without this help we would never be able to take Nathan away on a trip like this. He can suffer 20 seizures a day but the charity ensures medical help is always available, night and day.

“We were devastated when they told us they had not been able to raise enough money through donations.”

The charity is appealing for the money to cover the cost of medical equipment such as portable oxygen concentrators.

The equipment is needed because the complexities of taking a child of Nathan’s specific needs can be huge.

Clare said: “If we can’t raise the money needed Nathan will be devastated.”

The family will be staying at the Give Kids The World village in Florida, a resort purpose built for children with severe illnesses.

However, since the news spread about Nathan’s holiday, friends and workmates have come forward to help.

“Working for the NHS means they were very happy to put a notice on their intranet,” Claire said.

“ Loads of people have been in contact and donated. Blackpool’s a very kind town.”

Fitness and Zumba instructor Barry Kinder has already offered his support by arranging a Zumba-thon on November 22 in support of the charity.

He said: “We’ve done a lot of Zumbathons in the past for larger charities but we like to get more involved in the community and Nathan’s story really caught my attention.”

Mark Bushell, a spokesman for Caudwell Children, said: “By providing 24 hour professional medical support for the duration of the trip, Destination Dreams gives families the chance to create happy memories, often for the first, and possibly last, time.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/Destination-dreams14