March 8 2014 Latest news:
By MARK BOGGIS
Sunday, December 22, 2013
It was a holiday to remember for five-year-old Daisy Newman.
Swimming with a dolphin and meeting Mickey Mouse were just two of the many highlights.
But this week, as she looked forward to a visit from Father Christmas, her grateful family thanked people in Lowestoft and Waveney for making her trip to Disneyworld a dream come true.
Ten months ago, Wayne and Jo Newman, of Carlton Colville, launched an appeal to raise money to take Daisy, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy, on a holiday of a lifetime in Florida with her sister Gracie.
The Give Daisy a Memory appeal was set up in February with the aim of raising £6,000, so Mr and Mrs Newman could take Daisy and Gracie on a trip they would never forget, to help them bond even more and also act as a much-needed pick-up after what they have gone through.
But after an amazing response from the public, they smashed their initial target – raising more than £15,000.
Reflecting on their three-week holiday, Mr Newman said the family would be eternally grateful for the “amazing” response to their appeal and that he and his wife were so grateful to everyone who supported them.
He said the trip had huge benefits for Daisy, who requires round-the-clock care.
“It really was dreams come true,” he said. “The trip really was incredible – beyond all our expectations.
“Seeing Daisy’s smiling face, the progress she has made, well it’s amazing to see. She loved it. We feel she has grown within the three weeks and she can do things now she couldn’t do before.”
As well as meeting Mickey Mouse three times, Daisy and seven-year-old Gracie met other famous Disney characters, and the sisters also enjoyed being made up “as little princesses for a day” at a special boutique.
“The way they we treated was so very special,” Mr Newman added. “We managed to do so much and both girls thoroughly enjoyed it. Daisy was so wide-eyed, was interacting the whole time and she’s made so much progress.”
One of the highlights of the holiday was a trip to Seaworld, and swimming with dolphins at its Discovery Cove.
Mr Newman said: “We were told you need to be six or seven to swim with dolphins, and at the time Daisy was only four. We were told that if there was any chance of getting to swim with a dolphin we’d have to wait until the end.
“They arranged for a special, experienced dolphin to swim with Daisy for 10 minutes.
“She was able to stroke the dolphin and swim with her – it was incredible to see as it has to be very warm water for Daisy to go in.
“Being able to take her in the water, and do something we’d normally never do, was amazing.”
Mr Newman added: “Many times we were holding back the tears; it was very emotional. The way that Daisy has progressed, through reaching out to touch all the characters and dolphin, and recreating that at home now. This unforgettable trip has helped her no end.”