Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Dream Comes True for Brandon; Public Ensures Youngster Flies to US to Swim with Dolphins

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Dream Comes True for Brandon; Public Ensures Youngster Flies to US to Swim with Dolphins

Article excerpt

Byline: Vicky Robson

YOUNG cancer sufferer Brandon Ballance will today fly to America where his wish to swim with dolphins will finally come true.

The trip of a lifetime follows a major fundraising appeal in aid of the youngster who has spent the past seven years in and out of hospital battling an inoperable and cancerous brain tumour. Thousands of pounds poured in from generous well-wishers as far away as Egypt after The Journal revealed brave Brandon's ordeal earlier this year.

The nine-year-old, from Amble, in Northumberland, touched hearts across the region and more than pounds 17,000 was raised to send him overseas to the United States with his family.

Speaking to The Journal, Brandon said: "I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has been involved and has made this happen for me. I feel amazed and surprised at how much people have helped."

Today, Brandon's dream will become a reality as he makes the long-haul flight from Newcastle to Orlando, Florida, for a two-week stay in Disney's Animal Kingdom resort.

His mum Sarah Nicholson said she was "overwhelmed" by the phenomenal response her son has had since she launched the appeal in his name in March.

"I am really grateful to each and every person who made a donation to help us, in what has been such a short space of time," said Sarah, who is also mum to four-year-old Sienna.

"When we first started Brandon's Wish Fund, I didn't expect the response we got so quickly. It has just been absolutely phenomenal and I can't thank people enough.

"We were able to book the holiday after only eight or nine weeks. Words just can't describe it. It's been amazing.

"Thank you to everyone who has helped to give my son this amazing opportunity." Sarah, 33, launched the appeal to take Brandon on his dream trip to the States over fears he could suffer a relapse at some point in the future and leave him too ill to travel.

The past few months have been an emotional rollercoaster for the whole family, who have been inundated with letters and cards of support.

They also received signed memorabilia from Geordie singer Cheryl Cole and Ashington-born cricketer Steve Harmison, in a bid to help their fundraising efforts. …

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