MOST children would love to meet Buzz Lightyear and his Toy Story friends and one brave youngster’s wish will soon come true.
Eight-year-old Ellie Pugh will travel to Disneyland Paris with her family at the end of the month and the star commander will be the first character they have their photo taken with.
Nine months ago Ellie began feeling unwell and after weeks of tests doctors believed she was suffering from a virus.
But the Leigh Sacred Heart pupil didn’t get better and she was admitted to hospital after she collapsed at home.
Mum Donna said: “Ellie was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool as an emergency and after several more tests and surgery in theatre she was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s Disease.
“She had lost a stone in three weeks and had X-rays, ultra sounds and blood tests before they found ulcers inside her body, running from her mouth down to her bottom. She was always a happy-go-lucky little girl but she had lost her cheekiness and her confidence.”
Crohn’s Disease typically affects people aged between 15 and 30 but cases like Ellie’s are becoming increasingly more common.
Ellie, who lives in Leigh, spent eight weeks on a high dose of steroids and medication to suppress her immune system but when the doctors reduced the dosage she got worse, as she had become dependent on the steroids.
She is now on regular infusion treatment for auto immune disease every seven weeks but she will be affected by the illness for the rest of her life.
Donna added: “Ellie makes an impact on everyone she meets and while she was at Alder Hey she was referred to Starlight Children’s Foundation, which helps seriously and terminally ill children by granting their wishes.
“Ellie had to choose three wishes and while she wanted to meet Simon Cowell or spend the day as a princess, her first wish was to meet Buzz Lightyear at Disneyland.”
So Ellie, together with three-year-old brother Connor and sister Bethany, who is 11, and her parents Donna and Anthony, will get to experience the excitement of Disneyland.
Donna said: “The children are so excited, especially now the tickets have arrived in the post.
“Ellie has missed a lot of school because she has been so poorly but everyone at Leigh Sacred Heart has been so helpful and supportive.
“We would like to thank people for all they have done and Starlight for making Ellie’s wish come true.”