ANDREW Langhorne may be 15 but when asked what he would wish for if he could have anything he didn’t say a new games console or a trip to Disneyland, he asked for his own tractor.
Andrew would rather spend time in the fields working on his parents’ North Yorkshire farm than in front of a computer screen. But one problem is Andrew has cystic fibrosis, which was diagnosed when he was two years old. As a result he has a daily routine of physiotherapy, exercise, medication and nutrition to ensure he does not deteriorate.
Andrew lives and works on a special breeds farm run by his parents. He doesn’t like being away from home as he misses the animals, so Andrew’s hospital admission been scheduled to ensure he is home for lambing season.
Andrew is an unusual boy in that he spends almost every waking hour planning, talking about or working on the farm.
At the moment, he drives his father’s tractor; however, his greatest wish was to own his own tractor to help him feed his sheep and help with jobs such as cleaning out the sheds.
And children’s charity Rays of Sunshine recently granted Andrew’s wish of owning his own tractor.
The charity arranged for a second-hand David Brown 990 Implematic tractor to be delivered to the farm to the great excitement of Andrew and his family.
The charity is also organising for the tractor to get a new lick of paint in a colour of Andrew’s choice.
“I am really chuffed with the tractor and want to thank Rays of Sunshine for arranging it for me. I can’t wait to get it painted as well,” Andrew said.
The charity recently held its first awareness week for Week for Wishes.
Alice Halstead, Rays of Sunshine ambassador for the charity in the north of England, said the event had proved a great success.
Alice, who suffers from a rare and complex form of diabetes which meant she spent years in hospital, had her wish granted by Rays of Sunshine and is now proud to represent the charity.
The charity organised for her to travel to London to see a West End show, despite normally being confined to hospital because of her unpredictable condition.
During the awareness week, they launched the Sunshine Breakfast Club. People downloaded a Sunshine Breakfast Pack from www.raysofsunshine.org.uk and invited friends, classmates or colleagues for breakfast in return for donations.
Children and staff at Ghyll Royd School, Ilkley, raised money throughout the week selling raffle tickets, Rays of Sunshine wristbands, pin badges, homemade chocolate sauce and Mrs Malliks’s yummy Cake Pops.
“Wednesday, May 18, was a very exciting day – Ghyll Royd’s Sunshine Breakfast which I was delighted to be part of – all of the children and staff came dressed in their pyjamas and enjoyed a ‘Get Healthy and Fit’ session run by Nicky Wilces followed by a ‘hotel style’ breakfast of cereal, full English breakfast, croissants and fruit juices,” explains Alice from Ilkley who only recently returned home after two years in hospital.
“I think everybody had a fantastic time, as did I, while helping turn wishes into happy memories for seriously ill children. Ghyll Royd School raised over £900 in which one very special wish will be granted with the money raised. I look forward to the children being able to choose which wish they would like to grant with the amazing amount raised.”
At the end of the fund-raising week, Alice handed over a cheque for £1,700 to Rays of Sunshine to help children’s dreams come true.
There are about 20,000 children in the UK living with a serious or life-limiting illness. Every day of the year, Rays of Sunshine grant a wish for one of these children. This year, they hope to make the dreams of 500 children come true; just like they did for Andrew.
HOW WISHES ARE GRANTED
Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity was formed in 2004 to help children who are living with serious or life-limiting illnesses between the ages of 3-18, across the United Kingdom. It does this by granting these children’s wishes however impossible the wish may seem and helping hospitals, hospices and specialist schools to improve their facilities. Children who are living with a serious or life-limiting illness think of a wish. A wish application is completed on behalf of the child and is sent to the appeals committee. They then consider how the wish can be turned into a happy memory for someone.