Dream comes true for St Andrews youngster

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A St Andrews youngster, who has been battling a rare form of cancer, is gearing up for an all-expenses paid holiday of a lifetime to the Harry Potter theme park in Florida.

Brandon Thom (7), who is a pupil of Greyfriars Primary School, will be flying off to the top tourist attraction with other members of his family in early September, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.

It is a double cause for celebration for Brandon - who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma around two years ago when a tumour was discovered in his stomach - having been given the “all clear” following his latest hospital scan on Tuesday, as his mum, Phyllis, told the Citizen.

Representatives of the charity visited the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, and granted the schoolboy his wish to make the one-week trip to the United States as part of its 25th anniversary.

To mark the milestone in its history, Make-A-Wish is attempting to break the Guinness world record for the biggest Pass the Parcel this month. The parcel has embarked on a magical 10-day tour, granting 25 special wishes to young people who are fighting life-threatening illnesses and the hospitals that care for them.


The tour made its latest stop in the Scottish capital where one of the 25 parcel layers was unwrapped, revealing the special gift - the truly magical trip to Florida that made a wish come true for the St Andrews schoolboy.

Brandon, who is the youngest of a family of three children of Michael and Phyllis - dad is conscierge at the St Andrews Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa, and Phyllis, a former foster parent - is Harry Potter daft and his bedroom is a shrine to the boy wizard, the J.K.Rowling creation.

Mrs Thom added: ”This is wonderful news. It will be the first time ever that the whole family will be able to enjoy a holiday together. In the past that has just not been possible.

“It was Harry Potter videos that kept Brandon going when he was in hospital, so this is wonderful and something to which we can all look forward.”

Brandon will also be going to Florida with sister Naomi (23), who is a student at St Andrews University, and brother, Murray (15), a pupil of Madras College.

Neil Jones, Make-A-Wish chief executive, said: ”The Pass the Parcel tour is a fantastic way of delivering a wish in a very special way to children, hospices and hospitals around the nation.”

Daphne Chad, of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, added: ”Make-A-Wish has been a great support to many children and families over the 25 years and the smile on a child’s face when they hear their wish has been granted is magical.”