Date dream fulfilled: 23/12/2014
Summary: Travelling is one of Astrid’s biggest dreams and chemotherapy did not stop her from visiting New York City.
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Travelling is one of Astrid’s biggest dreams and chemotherapy was not going to stop her from visiting New York City.
“In April 2012 at the age of 19 I was diagnosed with Stage 4b Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Whilst undergoing 6 months of chemotherapy at the University Hospital Wales, my Clic Sargent Social Worker informed me about the holidays organised by Dreams Come True. I have always loved travelling, and before my diagnosis I was supposed to be moving to France to live for a year as part of my university course. One city that I’ve always dreamed about visiting is New York, and I have always had intentions to save up in order to visit. However after my diagnosis, I quickly became aware that my dreams of visiting the United States were going to have to go on long term hold.
After hearing about Dreams Come True with the help of my parents I applied for a holiday to New York with the hope that the charity would be able to help me. Within weeks I received a letter from the Charity to say that my dream had been accepted and that I would be able to go to New York after all! As I’m sure you can imagine this brought more than just a smile to my face – not only did it gave me something to look forward but it gave me the determination to fight to ensure I was well enough to enjoy such an amazing opportunity.
I returned to university in October 2013, and despite the setback I was now in the final year of my degree. Keen not to miss any more time at university than I already had, I got in touch with Michelle, my Dreams Coordinator, who assured me that the timing of the dream was flexible enough so that I didn’t need to miss any more university.
After looking at potential dates and hotels, I cheekily asked if there was any chance that we could spend Christmas Day 2014 in New York. To my surprise Christmas Day was given the go ahead and within just a few days our travel insurance, the hotel and flights had been organised and booked, and my dream was now starting to become reality – all we had to do now was wait a few months!
The months flew by, and all of a sudden it was December and we only had a few more weeks to go! After several conversations with Michelle and receiving some very exciting post with tips on things to do and places to see in New York, we were ready to go!
The holiday was like a whirl-wind – from the moment the plane took off to the moment it landed back again in Heathrow, it really was a dream come true! It was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. In New York we experienced things I never thought I’d get the chance to. We visited Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Rockefeller Centre and so much more. We stayed in a beautiful hotel located within a stone’s throw away from the Empire State Building and Macy’s. What more could I have ever wished for? But for me the most memorable experience was waking up on Christmas morning in NYC – the day I had been most looking forward to. After waking up early we walked the eerily quiet 10 or so blocks from my hotel to Central Park and went ice-skating! It was magical, the weather was amazing and I couldn’t think of anywhere else in the world I would have rather been than ice skating with my partner in Central Park on a very festive Christmas morning. A few days after that magical morning, it was time to leave with a suitcase full of amazing life-long memories and return to the UK. Visiting New York really was a dream come true and without such an amazing charity I’m not sure it would ever have been a dream that I could have realised. Looking forward to New York helped me fight and gave me something to look forward to and looking back on New York brings a huge grin to my face thinking about all the fun I had and the memories that we made. Thanks Dreams Come True.”