A six-year-old boy from Lisbellaw who has been treated for leukaemia over the past two years, is looking forward to a trip to Disneyland in Paris next month, thanks to the generosity of a County Down charity.
Thomas McCreery, a P2 pupil at Lisbellaw Primary School is going to the theme park in France at the beginning of November for four days as a result of help from the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation. A son of Jill and Rodney McCreery, Thomas is being accompanied on the trip by his mum, Jill, his brother James(8) and his aunt, Loraine McCreery.
Thomas got a huge surprise when he was met after a hospital appointment in Belfast earlier this month by Gerald Degnan, who runs the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation, to tell him that the charity was going to send him to Disneyland in Paris.
Thomas was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia(ALL) in June 2010 when he was just four years old and his cancer treatment is expected to continue until August next year.
His mother Jill said that last week was Thomas' first full week he had ever spent at school due to having to take time off for treatment and illness.
"Last week was the first full week at school. Since he started in September he has been at school for seven days in total," said Jill. In all, his treatment is expected to take more than three years.
Thomas is extremely brave about it all.
"He wants to get better. Thomas says he doesn't like the medicine but he takes it as he wants to get better," said Jill.
Last year was particularly tough on Thomas and his family as the intensity of the treatment meant he was in hospital every day. At the moment he is scheduled to make weekly trips to hospital unless he develops an infection or a temperature.
"Then it is up to Belfast."
The plan is for the trip to take place from November 5 to 8 perfectly timed to take place before Thomas' seventh birthday on November 9.
"It will give us a break. Thomas is very excited. He is particularly interested in seeing Indiana Jones and Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean," said Jill.
The Whiteabbey-based charity was set up in memory of Gerald Degnan's mother Eilish who lived with cancer for 16 years. His father has also suffered from cancer of the lung, legs and face.
For more information about the charity, visit www.eilish-degnan-cancer-foundation.org