Camp Simcha makes Disney dream come true for girl with leukaemia

How a charity supporting seriously ill children made a six-year-old's birthday extra special


As Naomi Sutcliffe prepared for her final treatment for leukaemia, the Surrey six-year-old was asked how she wanted to celebrate this major milestone on her road to recovery.

“She said she would like Sleeping Beauty, her absolute favourite Disney princess, to come to her house to play,” said mum Jenny.

When Naomi’s wish was relayed to Camp Simcha — supporting children with serious illness and their families — the charity set out to make it a reality. And thus Sleeping Beauty was the special guest at her birthday party.

“Naomi was busy decorating a tiara so I told her to look up. When she did her jaw literally dropped,” Mrs Sutcliffe said. Sleeping Beauty met her friends, even joining them on the bouncy castle. However, the best was yet to come. As the family left the party venue, a horse and carriage was waiting to transport Naomi and Sleeping Beauty back to her house.

“Naomi took Sleeping Beauty into her room and they sat on the floor together looking at all her toys and books. She told Naomi that her friend Tinkerbell had given her some fairy dust they could use to make a wish. They wished to always be happy.

“I had tears in my eyes. It was such a wonderful way to celebrate her treatment being over. I am so, so grateful to Camp Simcha for making it happen.

“Naomi said she wanted money instead of presents for her birthday so she could give some of it to Camp Simcha to help other children.’

Neville Goldschneider, Camp Simcha’s chief executive, said that beyond the practical and emotional support services it offered, “sometimes we have the privilege of being part of something joyful, like arranging a dream come true for a little girl who has come to the end of a gruelling treatment period”.

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