Children with life limiting conditions granted wishes

CHILDREN with serious life-limiting illnesses have been rewarded for their bravery in the face of adversity.

Thursday, 11th July 2019, 4:40 pm
Updated Friday, 19th July 2019, 2:41 pm
Cheque presentation to Sarah May Kershaw, third right, of Rays of Sunshine by arcade owner Billy Edwards, second right, with Stephen Morgan MP, right. Family fun day at Clarence Pier, organised by Rays of Sunshine. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (130719-4)

Youngsters with a variety of conditions were at Clarence Pier for a fundraising event that saw Southsea Island Leisure hand over a cheque for £1,000 after raising funds for the last six months.

The children were granted a ‘wish’ as part of a project which aims to put a smile on their faces and provide support for families.

Bacta, the trade organisation for amusement machines, has helped raise over £350,000 with charity Rays of Sunshine’s Tickets2Wishes which is behind the scheme helping to make dreams come true for young people.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Zuleika, 10, left, and her family playing an arcade game. Family fun day at Clarence Pier, organised by Rays of Sunshine. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (130719-3)

Families who have benefited from a ‘wish’ said it had been a massive boost. Mum Esmenia Mandinga, 33, whose 10-year-old daughter Palesmenia Cosme’s wish to visit the British gymnastic team had come true after part of her leg was amputated because of a limb condition, said the wish had been a boost.

She said: ‘It was her wish to see the gym team because she was a keen gymnast. She was very happy to meet them and had a really good time and was even able to do some moves.

‘We went away for two nights and had a good time. It helped with the stress of the situation.’

Palesmenia decided to have the amputation in January despite her mum initially being against it and now uses a prosthetic leg or crutches. ‘She was in a lot of pain and wanted to have the amputation after previous operations had not helped,’ Esmenia said.

‘I said “no” at first but now I realise it was for the best and she is happier and feels more free. She is doing fine and just wants to get on with living a normal life.’

Emma Hyatt, director of Southsea Island Leisure, said: ‘Unwanted tickets that people had won on games were put towards the project. We’re pleased to have helped raise so much and are grateful to our customers.’

Sarah May Kershaw, of Rays of Sunshine, said: ‘We have no government funding so are totally dependant on the generosity of our supporters. We couldn’t be more grateful for this money raised to help with our wishes for young people.’