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Trip of a lifetime for brave Ilkley girl, Olivia
3:52pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
A little girl has returned from a trip of a lifetime, made possible thanks to the generosity of a local charity.
Five-year-old Olivia Wilkinson, who suffers from a life-limiting heart defect, was joined by her sisters, Megan, seven, and Molly, aged three, on the four-day trip to Disneyland Paris.
The trip was organised by local charity – Nadia’s Wish – which was set up by the friends and family of Nadia Shaw, who died at the age of 33 from breast cancer.
Nadia was a much-loved member of the community and worked behind the bar of The Crown Inn in Addingham for many years. It was landlady Maria Wells, along with Nadia’s sister Galina Harrison and friends Becky Shaw and Sally, who set up the charity.
Their first fundraiser was a black-tie event at The Crown in May and the holiday was generously donated by a local family.
Olivia’s mum Naomi, of Ilkley, said Nadia had been a family friend and the trip organised by Nadia’s Wish had made Olivia’s dream come true. “It was the trip of a lifetime,” she said. “We have been completely overwhelmed with everyone's support in making this trip happen.
“We had a personal meet and greet with Mickey and Minnie at the City Hall. To have that special time with them was wonderful and really made our trip.
“An amazing time was had by all and as a family we would like to thank everyone involved in Nadia's Wish and all those that came to the ball, bought tickets and donated prizes. You have all made Olivia’s dream come true. The trip was perfect.”
Olivia, a pupil at Sacred Heart Primary School, underwent 18 hours of surgery shortly after her birth at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), in 2008, and she is now on the waiting list for her final operation.
Naomi, who campaigned to safeguard the future of children’s heart surgery at LGI, added: “It’s the big one and it’s designed to give us some more time together as a family. Olivia continues to take life in her stride and has just started year one. A massive achievement.”