The family of a brave Cambridgeshire youngster battling a range of health issues have thanked a charity celebrating its 25th anniversary who whisked them off to Disneyland Paris to make life-long memories.
Michael Latta, eight, and his family, from Needingworth near St Ives, were invited on the trip organised by Magic Moments – the in-house charity of estate and lettings agency haart, which has a number of branches in Cambridgeshire.
Magic Moments hosts regular trips to Disneyland for children requiring hospice care, and their families, and has raised more than £2.5million in donations since it was launched in 1998.
Michael was born two months premature, with underdeveloped lungs. He also has Global Development Delay, dwarfism and other complex needs meaning he requires close to round-the-clock care.
His mum Kirstie, along with dad Rob, praised Magic Moments for organising everything required to get a child with additional needs across to Paris.
“It made such a big difference to us as a family having something to look forward to,” Kirstie said.
“Michael was in hospital a few weeks before we went away and it was one of the things that just kept us going through that period, knowing that we had this trip ahead of us, and we got super excited.
“We watched lots of videos about all the different rides, obtained lots of different ears for the children and really entered into the whole spirit of it.
“We were just blown away. It was amazing from start to finish.
“It was so emotional, because having that time away and not having to think about medical appointments and liaising with different people just for that short period of time was mind blowing.
“And we actually got to relax, which we never really get to do.”
Siblings of poorly children are also included by Magic Moments and Michael’s sister Emily also got to experience the magic of Disney.
“Emily’s an average ten-year-old, she’s into anime, and she’s into bouncing and dance and all the normal things,” Kirstie said.
“To see them both actually enjoy that little bit of magic and see their faces light up when Mickey and Minnie Mouse were waving at them as we walked into the park was priceless.”
Magic Moments was set up by Spicerhaart Executive Chairman Paul Smith, his father Alick, late mother Val and sister Alison in 1998, inspired by a young girl whose family brought Christmas forward after she was diagnosed with uncurable Leukaemia.
Since then, with the help of colleagues, friends, and family the charity has paid for 500 children requiring hospice care to go to Lapland and an incredible 2,450 families to visit Disneyland Paris.
Paul said: “It has been a true family drive to deliver charity with a purpose.”
Anyone wishing to support Magic Moments can visit https://www.magicmomentscharity.co.uk/
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