Doncaster mum’s bid to fulfil Jack’s Disney wish

Vicky Lee pictured with son Jack Kirsopp, nine. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 16-03-15 Kirsopp MC 1

Vicky Lee pictured with son Jack Kirsopp, nine. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 16-03-15 Kirsopp MC 1

  • Jack Kirsopp, aged 9, from Cantley suffers from a range of severe complex medical needs
  • Mum, Victoria Lee, would like to raise money to take Jack to Disney World in Florida
  • Early estimates suggest trip will cost £15,000
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Just like any other child his age, nine-year-old Jack Kirsopp loves Disney films.

But, like his classmates and many other youngsters up and down the country, he has trouble picking his favourite one.

It’s a tough choice between Finding Nemo and Toy Story.

However, he has watched Finding Nemo so much he has worn out two DVD copies of the animated adventure, and is currently on his way to wearing out a third.

And, just like his friends, he wants to meet his favourite characters, from Sheriff Woody to Squirt the Marlin the clown fish, at their home in Walt Disney World.

His mum, Victoria Lee, would love to take her son on the dream holiday, but, unfortunately it’s not just as simple as buying the tickets and booking the hotel.

The youngster from Cantley suffers from a range of severe complex medical needs, and requires 24-hour care.

He suffers from a neurological disease so rare that doctors at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where Jack regularly goes for treatment, are unable to diagnose it.

Jack needs specially trained carers with him round the clock, and even when sleeping he is connected to a machine which monitors breathing. His windpipe also needs to be regularly checked when he is awake.

There is so much equipment needed to aid with his care that Victoria anticipates that it may need to be flown to the American resort on a separate aeroplane, and Jack will also need a specifically adjusted seat.

It’s every child’s dream to go to Disney World, so why should Jack be any different?

Victoria Lee, Jack’s mum

It is not yet known exactly how much the trip will cost, but early estimates suggest it may be around £15,000.

Victoria, aged 31, said: “It’s every child’s dream to go to Disney World, so why should Jack be any different?

“His body is broken and he has a life-limiting condition, but apart from that he’s just like any other little boy.

“He knows no different so he loves life, he’s so happy.

“I’ve never asked for help with anything before, but it’s time to do something now.

“Jack’s scoliosis has got worse recently, and I want to make sure he gets to have a family holiday before his needs become too severe and we can’t go.”

Jack has had numerous hospital admissions throughout his life and his family have even been told to say their goodbyes on one occasion.

Vicky added: “Jack can be admitted to hospital so quickly. Something which would be minor for any other child, like a cold, can make Jack seriously poorly.

“Due to the uncertainty of what is around the corner, we felt as a family this was the right way forward, but because of the nature of Jack’s condition and the costs involved this is not possible on our own.

“He’s so inspirational, he really deserves this.”

The Heatherwood School pupil was honoured at the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards last year as the joint winner of the Special Recognition, Pride of Yorkshire award.

Victoria lives alone with Jack, but she has lots of emotional support from Jack’s step dad, Jonathan Riley, who lives in Nottingham, and also her parents, Jill and David Lee, who live in Bessacarr.

All five of them are hoping to travel to Disney World in Florida to enjoy what Victoria calls “a holiday of a lifetime”, although Jack’s grandparents will fund their own trip.

Victoria is already busy planning events to raise the money needed.

The first of these events will be a gala and dinner dance at the Keepmoat Stadium, Stadium Way, on July 4 from 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £49 each and can be booked by e-mailing jacksdinnerdance@gmail.com

To support Jack and donate to his fund, please visit www.gofundme.com/jackkirsopp. Also visit www.facebook.com/JLkirsopp to keep up-to-date with the latest fundraising events.

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