A brave boy who is battling brain cancer will see one of his dreams come true when he is surprised with a holiday of a lifetime.
Eleven-year-old Reece Holt is being treated to a trip to Legoland Resort Windsor thanks to the generosity of the community.
A fundraiser set up by friends of the family has raised more than £3,000 for the holiday and Lego fan Reece is yet to find out about the plans.
“He has no idea about it, it’s going to be a huge surprise for him,” said mum Rachel O’Neil.
“He’s never been and it’s the one place he really wants to go to.
“To be honest I’m absolutely amazed at how much has been raised, I can’t even begin to thank everyone for their generosity, it’s left me speechless!”
The family had already saved enough to take Reece and younger brother Callum to the resort so the additional funds raised will go to Team Reece.
Team Reece is a community group set up by Rachel and Reece and is in the process of becoming a charity.
It aims to help raise more awareness of childhood cancers to help others.
“So by everyone coming together to help get Reece to Legoland they have also inadvertently helped other children too,” said Rachel.
Reece’s journey has captured the hearts of the community.
The schoolboy from Overton is going through brain surgery for the third time, a year after diagnosis.
When Reece collapsed suddenly at home last May he was later diagnosed with Malignant Anaplastic Astrocytoma, an extremely rare tumour that affects only about 10 children a year.
In a space of a few hours the Holt family watched their happy active boy go onto life support as he battled a bleed on the brain.
After going through radiotherapy and 12 cycles of chemotherapy Reece was on the mend, organising charity events and giving talks to organisations.
His determination to not let the illness get in his way and to help others has inspired so many.
But now it’s Reece’s turn to be helped.
Steve Jolly set up the JustGiving page to give Reece his dream trip to Legoland.
“After everything Reece has done to help so many other children with his amazing charity work it’s time for him to take a break and have his dream trip to Legoland Resort Hotel,” said Steve.
“All the while whilst going through the operations, the chemotherapy and radiography, Reece has never complained once.
“He has just dug deep and got on with it.
“With knowing how much Reece loves Lego we thought a trip to Legoland Resort Windsor would be an ideal break.
“Its amazing, people’s support and everyone coming together, he’s inspirational and he has always got a smile on his face.”
Steve and friend Kevin O’Hagan wanted to give something back and had hoped to raise £1,200 for the family to take a two-night break in the Lego-themed hotel.
They held a fundraiser at The Royal Bar in Morecambe which helped raise £800.
After the event Kevin announced that he would donate the original target of £1,200 to fund the trip and the JustGiving page is currently at £1,180.
Reece continues bravely to raise money and has even started his first year at Lancaster Royal Grammar School, less than a week after his third brain operation.
The operation came after a routine MRI brain scan in September showed big changes in Reece’s brain and another tumour, smaller to the first one last year.
The youngster is at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool receiving treatment. On Monday he was due to start immunotherapy, a type of therapy which ‘wakes up’ a patient’s own immune system so it can fight cancer.But Reece’s neutrophils (an immune cell that has granules with enzymes that are released during infections, allergic reactions, and asthma) were too low – doctors are hoping to boost these ready for future treatment.
“Reece did get a bit upset for the first time about his relapse and that’s always hard to see as a parent because we can’t fix it or make it better, all we can do is climb on the bed with him and hold him while he sobs,” said Rachel.
“But he’s now back to his smiley self and to be honest it’s been a long time coming and a very much needed emotional release!
“No matter how tough you are we all need to let it go and cry sometimes.”
During his illness Reece has raised tens of thousands of pounds for other charities. He has shaved his hair off with his brother Callum, competed in assault course, Badass Mucker; designed a radiography machine out of his own Lego and even passed his 11-plus exam. The family would like to thank everyone for their support.