A Sylvanian Families surprise for Sophia


News release and photo for immediate use
Thursday 17 January 2013

Eight year old Sophia Harding, who has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus, has always wanted her very own Sylvanian Families (collectable animal figures) set to play with. So on Friday 21 December Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, gave her just that…

Sophia, who is from Bacup in Lancashire, was diagnosed at just a few weeks old with Hydrocephalus (water on the brain). This resulted in her having a shunt put in to drain excess fluid. A year later she was also diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (a motor condition that causes physical disability in development) and was subsequently in and out of hospital for the best part of a year. Sophia has physiotherapy every day and last year had brain surgery. She has defied doctors’ expectations and managed to achieve things that they thought she wouldn’t – like learning to swim.

Sophia’s wish day started with a limo ride to London toy shop Hamleys, which had opened an hour early especially for her! She was then whisked off to the Sylvanian Families section where there were a couple of surprises waiting…Freya the Rabbit, one of the characters, was there to greet her, along with a huge pile of gifts (kindly donated by toy company Flair)! Sophia’s Mum, Jennifer, said: “Sophia’s favourite part of the day was definitely meeting the Sylvanian Families character!”

Jennifer said: “The wish was more than what we could have hoped for. It was a break away where we had nothing to worry about and best of all, it was all for Sophia.”

There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition and this year Make-A-Wish will grant over 1,100 wishes. The charity needs to raise £7 million in 2013 to achieve this and receives no government funding or lottery grants – so every donation really does count.  

To make a donation to Make-A-Wish please visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 40 50 60.

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For more information about this news release please contact:
Hayley Epps: T: 01276 405093 M: 07557563214 E: hayley.epps@makeawish.org.uk

Notes to editors:

1. More photos available if required and the family are available for interview.
2. Please note that Make-A-Wish does not use phrases such as ‘terminally ill’ in order to respect the sensitive nature of life-threatening conditions and what they mean to children and young people and their families. We would ask that this approach is followed and that the term ‘life-threatening conditions’ is used in material for publication.
3. Make-A-Wish should be referred to as Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK in the first instance. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ or ‘Make-A-Wish Foundation’ is suitable. We would ask that you try to keep ‘Make-A-Wish’ on the same line.
4. Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. The charity was founded in the UK in 1986. Registered charity number: 295672/SC037479 www.make-a-wish.org.uk.

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Make-A-Wish Foundation UK grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting a life-threatening condition. There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition and this year alone 1,400 children will turn to Make-A-Wish to have their wish granted. The charity needs to raise £6.8 million in 2012 and receives no government funding or lottery grants – so every donation really does count.

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Quotes

The wish was more than what we could have hoped for. It was a break away where we had nothing to worry about and best of all, it was all for Sophia.
Jennifer Harding