A magical moment for brave boy Jay Hensby who met Father Christmas
A BRAVE tot who survived cancer has had a once in a lifetime wish to meet Father Christmas in Lapland granted.
Plucky Jay Hensby and his family have just returned from a magical winter wonderland trip.
The wish was granted following a rollercoaster of a start for the little fighter who, nearly three years ago, at just 22 months was diagnosed with a huge brain tumour called Ependymoma.
Hours after the Hensbys were given the devastating news Jay was flown to Bristol children's hospital, where he had two operations in 27 hours to remove the tumour, which was the largest the surgeon had seen.
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He was flown to America for pioneering lifesaving treatment.
Since his ordeal Jay has continued to have three-monthly scans to check he is clear of the cancer.
The four-year-old has had to re-learn simple movements and still struggles to get around.
But his harrowing ordeal hasn't stopped the Ruddlemoor youngster living the life he loves.
Jay is crazy for Christmas and speaks of nothing else day and night, said his dad David.
And this year's Christmas will be one that he will cherish forever, thanks to charity the Starlight Children's Foundation.
Jay, his dad David, 37, mum Julie, 33, and brother and sister Toby and Chloe, 15 and 7 respectively, have just returned from the Finnish resort of Luosto.
Dad David said: "Those three days made us forget everything that has gone before and, if it's possible, brought us even closer as a family. It was just the most magical time."
Over the three days they rode through the forests on a sleigh pulled by huskies and travelled on snowmobiles.
They also met the reindeer, Santa and his elves.
David added: "Jay is strong as an ox and he just battles through everything constantly with a smile on his face, even at the point of his diagnosis he was still smiling. To see the smiles on all the kids' faces was an absolute delight. We have been on family breaks before but nothing quite like this. It was a once in a lifetime experience."
He added: "It's thanks to the Starlight Children's Foundation and Jay's CLIC Sargent social worker who filled out all the forms. We'd like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts."
Starlight's aim is to grant memorable moments for the UK's poorly children that they can cherish forever.
To make a donation to Starlight visit www.starlight.org.uk