Nessie hunt is 'dream come true' for Harry (7) after battle with leukaemia
Parents of a seven year old boy who battled leukaemia for five years hailed their visit to the Highlands to find Nessie as a "dream come true".
Harry Angell from Swansea in Wales makes no secret of his love for dinosaurs – and has long hoped for the opportunity to visit Loch Ness in hopes of spotting the Loch Ness monster.
His wish was turned into a reality last week by Make-A-Wish UK and the generosity of Loch Ness Cruises, who donated the tour to Harry and his family through the charity’s Gift in Kind programme.
Harry, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at just 2-years-old and went through several types of chemotherapy – including oral chemotherapy daily for over three years – couldn’t wait to get out and explore with Loch Ness Cruises skipper Mike.
Harrys' dad, David said: “He’s a dinosaur expert! They had dinosaur bed sheets in the Morriston hospital that were just for him! But it wasn’t until Harry was flipping through the pages of a mythology book whilst low in energy, one of many consequences of his cancer, that he discovered Nessie, who looks like a dinosaur. He became fascinated with him.”
The experience not only brought joy and excitement to Harry but also offered a glimmer of light to his entire family, who had weathered the storm together.
His family's world turned upside down as they navigated the challenges and uncertainties of his treatment. After enduring countless hospital stays over the course of three years, the treatment he received meant that the family had to stop making plans, instead focusing on “keeping Harry alive”.
David added: "Without the wish to look forward to, these things help our sanity and mental health, they let us keep going. Within the darkness, there's a bit of light."
Chloe, Harry’s mum said: “When he was sad about how he's different to the kids around him, he latched onto the thought of his wish. Instead of dwelling on his illness, Harry could focus his energy on something more positive.
“The day could not have been more perfect, the Loch Ness tour blew us away. Skipper Mike was amazing and even helped Harry find Nessie. Seeing his face light up when he spotted her was incredible. It was truly magical and a once in a lifetime experience.”
As part of the wish, Harry also enjoyed a visit to meet Alpacas, a bagpipe welcome from the Loch Ness Piper, and an exclusive tour of the loch itself.
Mike Bell, who runs Loch Ness Cruises said: "I can’t say how much both my team and I enjoyed the day. Harry and his family were a delight to have on the water and I think we all had a very memorable time.
"When Make-a-Wish UK got in contact and asked to book the boat, we felt it was important to help out where we can so that the charity can continue its inspiring work.”
Wishgranter Erica Preuth at Make-A-Wish UK, said: “There are over 63,000 children just like Harry across the UK living with a critical condition. We believe that all eligible children deserve the benefits a wish can provide as it can bring light and joy to children and their loved ones during the darkest of times and help create magical memories that last a lifetime.
“We’re always on the lookout for new ways that we can grant the wishes of all the children who come to us. By donating skills, services and gifts like this tour to our Gift in Kind programme, companies and individuals can help us fill more wishes and create life-changing experiences for children facing critical illness.
"If you have something you could donate to help grant a wish to a child in the UK, please visit Make-A-Wish."