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Youngster is heading for his dream holiday
A BASINGSTOKE schoolboy, who is suffering from a rare, life-limiting condition, should soon be going to Walt Disney World – thanks to the generosity of the local community.
As previously reported in The Gazette, seven-year-old Tj Colwell is slowly losing his memory and his physical health is rapidly deteriorating.
He was diagnosed in the summer with Niemann-Pick disease type C – an extremely rare genetic condition which can damage the liver, spleen, brain and lungs.
His parents, Terry and Hayley Colwell, who are separated but on good terms, vowed in July to give Tj the holiday of a lifetime before it is too late.
Now they are all set to book Tj’s dream holiday to Walt Disney World – thanks to the kindness of strangers.
So far they have raised nearly £10,000 towards their two-week trip to Florida, smashing their original total of £7,000.
Terry, 34, said: “This will mean we can do everything that he wants to do, including swimming with dolphins.
“We want to be able to give him the trip of a lifetime and not to have to deny him anything.
“People have been really good in supporting us. We’ve been approached by lots of people asking how they can help. I know Tj will love Disneyland – it’s something we can all look forward to.”
Terry and Hayley, 43, of Normanton Road, Oakridge, will also take their other son, five-year-old Mason, who is not affected by the disease.
The family are aiming to go on the holiday in early May, but will wait until after Christmas to see whether Tj is medically able to fly before booking.
Tomorrow, a fundraising event will be held at Oakridge Hall for All, in Forsythia Walk, Basingstoke.
Terry is organising the event with Nathan Duncombe, who contacted the family via Twitter after reading of their plight in The Gazette.
Terry said: “It’s really good of Nathan to get involved. I didn’t realise how much work was involved in organising something like this.”
Thanks to their persistence, raffle prizes at the event will include signed Premier League football memorabilia, a signed poster of Muhammad Ali and days out.
The free event will also include plenty of other activities for families.
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