A BRAVE MUM EXPLAINS WHY A SIMPLE DAY OUT WITH THEIR POORLY SON MEANT SO MUCH.
Thousands of families visit Lapland UK every year and for most it’s just fun day out along with many others. For Elin and her husband however, it was a chance to create some precious memories with their poorly little boy Axel.
Two-year-old Axel is a delightful young man who has touched the hearts of everyone around him. Having been diagnosed with brain and spinal cancer when he was just nine months old, Axel has bravely completed several cycles of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant therapy. Sadly, Axel’s treatment options are no longer curative and he is now receiving palliative care
As mum, Elin, explains, Axel’s heartbreaking story began when he started vomiting in the mornings:
“Initial thoughts were that Axel had a sickness bug, but when the muscles on his face drop on one side it all became very serious.”
Axel was admitted to the local hospital and quickly moved on to Great Ormond Street where the family received the devastating news that Axel had tumours in his brain and spine. At first, the team were hopeful of a good prognosis but further tests revealed that Axel’s chances of survival were extremely limited.
Axel underwent six months of chemotherapy and stem cell treatment and in January 2017 he returned home. The family have enjoyed a lovely summer with Axel in reasonably good health but in September he sadly relapsed and is now receiving palliative care.
Axel is part of an immune therapy treatment trial and the family are hanging on to every glimmer of hope, but in the meantime, Elin is keen to make him as happy and comfortable as possible. The family heard about Dreams Come True through Wendi, Axel’s Portage support worker, who has been a wonderful support for the family throughout.
“Wendi comes in and plays with Axel once a week, since he can't access any groups due to infection risk. He absolutely adores her and she suggested that we should apply for a dream day out for Axel. She called Dreams Come True and bless her, filled in all the paperwork for us!
We chose Lapland UK because it was nearby and looked like a really nice thing to do. It was completely sold out but Michelle at Dreams magically made it happen, which was amazing – and extra special because it meant that Axel’s grandfather could join us whilst visiting from Sweden.
The whole day was absolutely magical. We also have a daughter who turns four in January, so she was absolutely mesmerised. Axel is very poorly and usually sleeps a lot during the day. However, at Lapland UK, he was wide-awake the whole time! He can't talk and his communication is usually very limited but he was clapping and waving – it was such a joy. We were all so taken by it.”
Elin went on to explain why the experience meant so much to the whole family:
“It was so lovely to do something that normal families do, that has nothing to do with hospitals and doctors. And also, Axel’s life is very limited so to see him engage with everything that was going on there. It definitely sparked something in him and we don't get that very often, so that was absolutely lovely.
I would like to say a big thank you to the supporters of Dreams Come True. Something like this might seem like such a small thing to other families but it means the world to us.”
UPDATE: We were very sad to hear that Axel tragically lost his fight on 23rd December – just two weeks after his day at Lapland UK. The family have expressed their thanks for organising their special day so quickly and were keen that his story should still be published.
Our condolences go to Elin and family.
If you would like to help more children and young people like Axel fulfill their dreams, please follow this link to donate. Thank you.