Little Wrexham boy jets out to meet Santa in Lapland

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A BRAVE little boy with leukaemia is to set to meet Santa in Lapland today.

Leighton Rhys Jones, of Rhos, has been chosen by the ‘When you wish upon a star’ charity which helps make dreams come true for sick children.

The four-year-old will be accompanied by his mum Jenene to Lapland and is delighted he will be meeting Santa.

Leighton was diagnosed with leukaemia in February and has had intensive chemotherapy for six months.

He is now in remission but must stay on what is called maintenance treatment until 2013.

His weak immune system means  he won’t be able to go  on a normal plane until his treatment finishes .

But the plane to Lapland will have doctors, nurses and specialists on board so he will be able to travel.

Mum Jenene said: “His first reaction was ‘I can’t fly’ but this is a private plane with doctors and nurses on so it will be okay.

“There will be around 100 other children on the visit.”

Jenene and Leighton were due to fly from Manchester Airport at about 7am and arrive at Santa’s official home three hours later.

The group will then enjoy a warming bonfire with hotdogs and hot chocolate to welcome them to the freezing temperatures.

Leighton and Jenene have both had to be kitted out with snowsuits and thermals in preparation for the icy temperatures which could plummet to -15.

They will enjoy reindeer rides, husky dog rides and snowball fights before having lunch prior to the big event – meeting Santa himself.

“He is very excited and has been really hyper,” said Jenene.

“He wants to ask Santa if he can bring a husky dog home.

“The day sounds fun-packed and I think Leighton will love it as it’s been a difficult
time in the past few months.”

Because of the demand for spaces on the trip each child will have just one parent or guardian with them.

Leighton’s little sister Tia-Lily, 16 months, and dad Richard will be staying home waiting for their return.

Leighton goes to Ysgol Hooson but still needs to have chemotherapy every day as part of his treatment.

“He is coping OK but does have up and down days,” added Jenene.

“Sometimes he won’t want to go to school but doesn’t know why - maybe because he is feeling unwell.

“But when he comes home he seems to have enjoyed it.”

At a fundraising event at Brymbo Sports and Social Complex in October more than £4,000 was raised and split with  Leighton’s fund for him to go on a dream holiday to Florida when his treatment ends and also Alder Hey.

Thousands of pounds have also been raised through fundraising events which were split between Leighton’s fund, a cancer charity called Nicola’s Fund and the Ronald McDonald House.

See full story in the Leader

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