A budding young chef who is battling Leukaemia was given a dream trip thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.
Ben Merriman, seven, from Tingley is living with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, cancer of the white blood cells, but he loves cooking and is inspired to be creative in the kitchen by chefs on television,
So when Make-A-Wish, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, asked Ben what his wish would be, he chose to be the head chef of a top London hotel.
Ben and his family arrived at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel earlier this month and on the morning of the wish, Ben was kitted out in personalised chef whites before having a tour of kitchens with Executive Chef, Simon Young. Ben helped Simon ‘run the pass’ in the kitchens and then enjoyed a cupcake decorating session. He also cooked lunch for his family before heading off to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
Ben was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2011, just before his fifth birthday. He has undergone three years of chemotherapy treatment, which involves spending days at the hospital which leave him extremely tired. He has nine months of chemotherapy treatment left, after which the long term prognosis will be assessed.
Mum Kelly said: “It was a real shock when we found out Ben had leukaemia and the diagnosis has had a major impact on our lives.
“The wish has been fabulous for Ben though. The whole family had a very special time together in London and Ben loved everything about the wish, especially decorating the cupcakes!”
Sister Anna said: “There have been many difficult times during Ben’s illness, so for us to spend this time together as a family has been really special. Make-A-Wish understand that these conditions are life threatening, so they really create wishes where you have the time of your life. It has been brilliant.”
Make-A-Wish runs entirely on donations. To make a donation go to www.make-a-wish.org.uk or call 01276 405060.