Brave boy gets dream day out with his family

The Tanneberger family visits HMS Alliance
The Tanneberger family visits HMS Alliance
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BRAVE Ben Tanneberger suffers from a life-threatening bone marrow condition.

But that doesn’t stop the 12-year-old doing things he enjoys.

So when he was given the opportunity to visit The Royal Navy Submarine Museum and satisfy his passion for warfare he jumped at the chance.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation arranged for Ben and his family to fly over from their home in Chicago and take a look around HMS Alliance.

The museum put together a full day of activities which included a harbour tour with Portsmouth Harbour Waterbus and a visit to attractions at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Ben was diagnosed with Idiopathic aplastic anaemia, a disease where bone marrow fails to make blood cells properly, a year ago.

His brother Josh, 15, donated him some bone marrow in the hope it will improve his quality of life.

Ben said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed the day.

‘I like big ships and wartime things. HMS Victory looks big and cool. I like the UK. The people are nice.

‘It feels great knowing Josh helped me – though I still like to pick on him. I haven’t let any of this stop me from doing things I enjoy.’

Ben’s mum Wendy, 42, said: ‘It’s been amazing. I really feel like it’s been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us.

‘It’s been an incredible opportunity for us to do this as a family.’

Dad Scott, 42, said: ‘His brother saved his life.

‘If it wasn’t for what he did he wouldn’t be where he is now.

‘He saved his life.

Talking about how his son has coped with the illness, Mr Tanneberger said: ‘Ben has been great.

‘It’s the parents that are trainwrecks.

‘The children tend to handle this stuff very well.’

The family are visiting other attractions while they’re in the UK, including Windsor Castle tomorrow.

They leave on Sunday.

Mr Tanneberger said: ‘We are incredibly grateful to The Make-A-Wish Foundation.’

Chris Munns, director of The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, said: ‘We are delighted to make Ben’s wish to visit a submarine come true and are very grateful to our colleagues at Portsmouth Waterbus and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for their generous support.’