Christchurch boy cooks with celebrity chef

News release and photo for immediate use
Tuesday 22 May 2012

When eight year old Matthew Jackson was in hospital being treated for Leukaemia, he watched cookery programmes to help pass the time. Last month, Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, sent Matt to The Kids Cookery School in London for a private cooking lesson with celebrity chef Alex MacKay…

Matt, who is from Christchurch, arrived at The Kids Cookery School with his Mum, Catherine, and was immediately whisked into the kitchen by Alex. They donned their aprons and got stuck in to learning…from how to chop vegetables to making pasta from scratch (a highlight for Matt)! Matt had an impressive list with him of things he wanted to try, including venison with chocolate sauce and tiramisu – dishes he had seen being made on cookery programmes whilst in hospital. At lunchtime, Matt’s twin brother, James, his older brother, Daniel, and Grandma, Linda, arrived to try the homemade ravioli that Matt had made. In the afternoon the whole family were let loose in the kitchen!

Matt was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in March 2011. After visiting his doctors he was taken to his local hospital before being transferred to Southampton to have a bone marrow test. In June 2011 he had a bone marrow transplant. Matt’s treatment meant that he lost his appetite, but he has gradually regained this and has decided he would like to be a chef or restaurant critic when he grows up.

Catherine said: “Matthew’s illness still has an impact on me and the rest of the family every day, so it was lovely that his wish meant that we all got to spend some time together. Just seeing him learning and really enjoying something that he loves was wonderful.”

Alex MacKay said: “It was both wonderful and humbling to meet Matt and a really special treat for me – and I hope he felt the same way.”

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 to achieve this.

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. 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

About Us

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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