A Bradford teenager who is battling a rare form of bone cancer was flying high after his dream ambition to take to the skies in a vintage aircraft took wings this week.
Connor Lancaster, 14, of Wibsey , experienced a flight in a Gipsy Moth, thanks to his wish being granted by a charity called the Starlight Children’s Foundation which gives very poorly children and young people something to look forward to and a happy memory to treasure.
Connor, an aeroplane and history buff, travelled from Bradford to the Popham Airfield in Winchester for the flight, accompanied by his mother Julie, 35, and his uncle Trevor White, of Beacon Road, Wibsey, who inspired his love of aeroplanes as a child.
The flight, which was intended to be in a Tiger Moth, but was changed at the last minute to a Gipsy Moth, took place during the charity’s annual Popham Airfield Escape, an open-air party for sick children.
Julie said the day was amazing, with the charity sending a limousine to their hotel to take them to the airfield, where a red carpet was rolled out for Connor, which he walked down before clambering into the biplane.
She said: “He gave us a salute and when he took off it was so brill to see him – I was filling up. They did a fly past, low and slow, and we could see him waving to us.
“They looked after us so well all day.” Connor also enjoyed a flight in a helicopter and the charity has organised for him to attend an airshow in September.
A spokesman for the Starlight Children’s Foundation said: “Connor’s wish did go ahead and it was wonderful!
“He seemed to have a great time and even described the flight as 11 out of ten!”
The day out was a welcome diversion for Connor who was diagnosed in January with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer which affects fewer than 30 children in the UK each year, Connor, who also survived meningitis as a baby, has undergone chemotherapy on the Teenage Cancer Trust at Leeds General Infirmary and surgery at the Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital to remove the tumour and the pubic bone on the left side of his pelvis.
He is on three types of antibiotics after suffering infections and the day after the flight on Thursday he had to attend St James’s Hospital in Leeds to start five weeks of radiotherapy.
His mum Julie, who shaved her head to help raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust during a fun day at Dudley Hill Rugby Club in July, said her brave son had been ecstatic to have his wish granted “It came at a good time,” she said. “He will ride on the high of it for a few weeks to come.”
To refer a child for a wish or to make a donation, visit starlight.org. uk.