Katie Piper makes teen’s wish a reality
News release and photo for immediate use
Wednesday 22 August 2012
17-year-old Abigail Butchers has been through more than most her age. At 16 she was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia – a condition that causes bone marrow failure – and subsequently missed school, spent a month in isolation and underwent gruelling treatment. On 9 July Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, granted her wish to meet the person who inspired her to stay strong – Katie Piper.
Abbie, who is from Freshwater, Isle of Wight, got to meet her idol at The Ivy in London along with her Mum, Julie, and Dad, Jason. Katie gave her a signed copy of her second book – Things Get Better, a card which she had personally written and two bags of goodies. They then spent the afternoon having lunch and chatting like long-lost friends. Abbie said: “I didn’t believe I was really going to meet Katie until she walked in! I can’t explain how I felt; it was really surreal, like a dream. It’s made me put things into perspective though – no matter what your situation you can get through it.”
When Abbie was diagnosed she was preparing to take her GCSEs – she describes being told by the doctor that she had Aplastic Anaemia as “surreal”. Abbie endured regular blood transfusions and chemotherapy (which made her lose her hair) before having a bone marrow transplant in October last year. For a month after the transplant she was required to be in isolation – something that she found very hard, particularly because her friends were carrying on doing normal things, but reading Katie’s book helped her through. She now goes for once-monthly check-ups and weekly blood tests.
Abbie said: “Make-A-Wish is amazing. Having a wish is such an amazing opportunity and is a really positive thing during a horrible time.”
Katie said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Abbie and make her wish come true – she has been through an incredibly tough time but has remained very strong. I hope she enjoyed her day as much as I did.”
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.
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:
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.