Monday, February 20, 2006

Swimming with dolphins, a dream come true for terminally ill child

Kieran Anderson was too scared to dive in for a dip with the animals during a family holiday to Tenerife last week. Today mum Victoria Kemp, 27, said it had been Kieran’s dream but when he had the chance the cautious youngster just couldn’t go through with it.

She said: “He has been saying for ages that he wanted to swim with dolphins so we went on holiday to Tenerife and booked him in to do it. “But when he actually saw them in the water he got a little bit scared and said he didn’t want to do it. He did like them, though, so he just sat on the side of the pool with his feet in the water and watched them.

“It was a shame, because he’d been wanting to do it but I think it was different than he had been expecting.” The six-year-old Roker schoolboy, from Horatio Street, has been fighting neuroblastoma – cancer of the nervous system – for two years. Since doctors told his family Kieran’s condition is incurable, they have been on a fund-raising drive to help the youngster realise his dreams.

Cash has been flooding in since the Echo reported the youngster’s condition and in December readers donated enough to send Kieran, a pupil at Dame Dorothy School, to Lapland to meet Santa Claus. Mum Victoria, dad Darren, 32, sister Natasha, 10, and brother Darren, nine, have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Echo readers and are planning to jet off to Disney World in Florida in September so Kieran can meet his hero Mickey Mouse.

Victoria said: “We are going to Disney World in September because it will be too hot for the kids before then, but they’re really looking forward to it.” Doctors at Newcastle’s RVI are keeping the cancer at bay for the moment but Kieran is still receiving chemotherapy. Victoria added: “He is responding really well to the chemotherapy at the minute and he’s the healthiest he’s been in while. He is just a happy normal little boy.”

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"