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15 October 2013 11:17
Dreamflight is taking 192 youngsters on a trip to Florida
Children with disabilities and serious illnesses are preparing to jet off on the holiday of a lifetime thanks to a UK charity.
Dreamflight is taking 192 youngsters on a trip to Florida for an action-packed week of fun which will include the chance to swim with dolphins.
The total cost of the trip is around £750,000, including the cost of chartering a Boeing 747 and
pre-existing medical travel insurance. The money has all been raised through voluntary contributions.
Dreamflight has operated every year since 1987 and has so far taken almost 5,000 children on trips to the US. The charity is supported by British Airways and its latest flight is due to depart from Heathrow next Sunday.
The children will be leaving their families behind and will be looked after by a dedicated team of 15 doctors, 50 nurses and 12 or 13 physios who are all volunteers.
Twelve-year-old Kaitlin Stewart, from Dundee, is among those going on the trip.
Kaitlin, who suffers from juvenile idiopathic arthritis affecting her whole body, said she was "really excited", adding: "I have dreams about it every night...swimming with dolphins under water."
Nicole Lewtas, 14, from Wirral, said she "can't wait" for the trip and described Dreamflight as an "inspirational" charity.
Nicole, who suffers from thyroid cancer, is looking forward to meeting other children who face similar experiences.
"I can't wait to have fun in the sun," she said. "I just love the idea of being in Disney - a magical experience."
Nicole's mother Sharon Kane, who took part in a skydive to raise money for the trip, said her daughter will be in "really good hands".
Ms Kane said Nicole had undergone major surgery last year which "basically saved her life".
"She has missed quite a lot of school because of it. She went back in September and hasn't missed a day."
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