<"Lenny was completely captured by all of the magic!">
When he was just two years old, Lenny was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour on his kidney. His family received the diagnosis around Christmas time, and Lenny’s mum Sophie says it was a huge shock.
“Christmas as a child is supposed to be full of magic and excitement and fun, and yet ours became totally focused on hospitals, doctors and treatment,” she says.
It was a scary time, Sophie explains, adding that at one point she wasn’t sure whether Lenny would make it to see another Christmas.
“When we were recommended to get in touch with Rays of Sunshine, it was a bit of a turning point,” Sophie says. “I couldn’t help with the medical side of Lenny’s treatment, but I knew that I could apply for a wish for him.
“He was so brave throughout his chemo and other treatments, I just knew that a wish would help lift his spirits and give us all something to look forward to and think about outside of hospital.”
<"It was so important for us to have happy memories together, and that’s exactly what Lenny’s wish was able to give us.">
Why Lenny chose the wish
Because so much of Lenny’s Christmas last year was impacted by his diagnosis, his family thought it would be a good idea to try and make new, more positive memories this time. Eventually, they decided on visiting Lapland UK for Lenny’s wish.
Lenny’s wish included ice skating, decorating gingerbread men (one of his favourite foods) and even making toys with the elves. There was also plenty of music and performances to keep everyone entertained.
“And then we got to see the big man: Santa! Lenny was so excited, and they team there really made the whole thing so special for him,” Sophie explains.
The impact of the wish
According to Sophie, the whole day was exactly what the family needed – and Lenny was so captured by the magic that he fell asleep in the car on the way home for four hours!
Reflecting on Lenny’s wish, Sophie says, “Our family is a young one, and so many of our memories were tinged with that anxiety of Lenny being unwell. It was so important for us to have happy memories together, and that’s exactly what Lenny’s wish was able to give us.
“On a personal level, I know that I was actually feeling quite anxious as Christmas this year was coming closer. It’s hard to forget about the turmoil of last year. But Lenny’s wish has had such a positive impact on me too. We have those good memories now, and they completely outweigh the bad ones.”