For seven year old Felix Allen from Plymouth, a family visit to the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show on Saturday (05 March) proved to be somewhat of a surprise when he was presented with a full course of lessons and his very own windsurfing equipment by double Olympic Gold medallist Sarah Gosling (nee Webb) and Olympic Gold medallist; Team Volvo for life sailor Paul Goodison.
Felix’s dearest wish for his very own windsurfing equipment and lessons was granted by Starlight Children's Foundation, the UK's leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
Diagnosed in April 2010 with Wilm’s Tumour, which is a life threatening cancer of the kidney that occurs in children, Felix has had to undergo an intensive course of chemotherapy treatment to battle the disease.
What Felix loves most is playing in the sea but while being treated he was unable to submerge his hickman line, the intravenous catheter used for the administration of chemotherapy and other medication, and really missed his favourite past time.
Felix’s mum Sue explained to Starlight why his wish for windsurfing equipment and lessons would mean so much, 'Felix really wants to learn to windsurf so he can go windsurfing with his dad and not be left at home! He has been incredibly understanding and tolerant of the fact that he can’t go in the water and we fully intend to make up for it once he is better. His Starlight wish would make the whole thing even more special.'
Sue went on to say: 'The day that Felix had his wish granted by Starlight was exactly one year on from the day that he was first diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to Starlight and RYA, we have been able to replace a very sad and scary memory with a really happy one.'
Felix will have his very first windsurfing lesson at his local RYA Training Centre, which has been kindly donated by the South West Lakes Trust.
Special thanks also go to Minorca Sailing who have made this wish possible by donating Felix’s windsurfer. Starlight website RYA website