A grateful mum whose poorly little boy was granted his wish to go to Disneyland is now helping other families.
Seven-year-old Carter Chatting battled Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia for three years and is now in remission, having recently rung the bell at Birmingham Children’s Hospital at the end of his treatment.
During his illness he became one of the many children helped by Round Table Children’s Wish (RTCW), a national charity based in Bournemouth which grants hand-crafted wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.
And now the Chattings are helping other families in the same position, with an £8,000 donation to Round Table Children’s Wish from a charity ball they staged.
Carter’s mum Lucy explained: “My husband Matthew was part of Round Table and we used to support Round Table Children’s Wish – we had a letter on our wall from them telling us how the money we donated would be helping.
“Then Carter got poorly – and suddenly we were on the other side of it.
“Carter was only four when he was diagnosed and he loved Toy Story – his toy Woody, the cowboy character from the film, was always with him in hospital for his treatment. We spoke to our wish co-ordinator Cathy and she organised a trip for all four of us to Disneyland.
“It was third time lucky in September as the two previous attempts had to be postponed because Carter was too ill.
“It was such an amazing time for all of us, including Carter’s sister Monica, who is nine.
“I honestly can’t thank RTCW enough for making Carter’s dream come true – they literally organised the whole thing from door to door and even spending money too. Carter told us afterwards it was the best three days of his life.
“Watching Carter meet Woody at Disneyland was an emotional experience for us all. And Carter loved the parades – he was in his wheelchair to watch them and a lot of the characters came over to high-five him.
“And it was lovely that everyone there made a fuss of Monica as well – she has been amazing all through Carter’s illness and really looks after him.”
Since the start of Carter’s treatment the Chattings have raised £155,000 through their charity Carter the Brave, mostly for the oncology ward at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he received his care. But after their third ball last autumn they donated 25 per cent of the proceeds – £8,000 – to Round Table Children’s Wish.
Lucy said: “It’s a great charity which we have always supported and then they were there for us when we needed them. I hope through our donation we have helped other families have an amazing experience as well.”
Round Table Children’s Wish director Karen Winchcombe said: “It’s wonderful that we could grant Carter’s wish and we are so grateful to the Chattings for the money they have given us.
“There is something so very special about working in partnership with families and Round Table to help bring a smile or laughter, following such a terrible and emotional time. We thank the Chattings so much for what they have done.
“We are entirely dependent on donations to fund our children’s wishes and we just couldn’t do it without these generous gifts.”
The Chattings will be holding their fourth charity ball this year and Lucy is hoping that future events will help fund further research into childhood cancers.
Lucy said: “Carter has rung the bell but lots of other children are still going through treatment and we want to do what we can to help.”
You can learn more about the work of Round Table Children’s Wish at www.rtcw.org.