Sean Reynolds (7 ) whose dream to meet Santa Claus in Lapland became reality during the festive season of 2018, helped to launch the annual Make-A-Wish Christmas appeal in the Sheraton Athlone Hotel this week.
Sean (7 ), who lives with cystic fibrosis, is one of numerous children in Ireland who have been selected by the Make-A-Wish charity to have their wishes granted with and realise their chosen aspiration.
Last Christmas, Make-A-Wish granted Sean’s one true wish to meet Santa in Lapland with his mum, Lorraine, dad, Keith and siblings, Amy and Harry.
“When Seán found out his wish was going to be granted he couldn’t believe it. He was so excited! As a family, being granted this wish was a dream come true for all of us. Like most people we all love Christmas time so much. But going to Lapland was so unbelievable! It was a total break from our normal lives of medication, treatments, hospitals, routine etc. While we were there, we forgot all about that norm for an entire long weekend. CF - what CF?! This was a trip of a lifetime from beginning to end,” Sean’s mother, Lorraine, remarked.
“Christmas is a special time for families, a time for fun and laughter. But for the families of children with life-threatening illnesses, Christmas is tinged with sadness. They need a spark of hope and happiness to reboot their energy and rebuild their resilience. Research shows that children who have wishes granted are more likely to build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. This improves their quality of life and produces better health outcomes. The families we work with tell us this every day, they have seen first-hand the almost magical power of granting much-hoped for wishes,” Susan O’Dwyer, CEO, Make-A-Wish, commented.
Make-A-Wish Ireland does not receive any Government funding and is solely dependent on the generosity of the general public. This public support is crucial for Make-A-Wish to continue granting the wishes of children living with life-threatening illnesses.