THE parents of brave little Ryan Cottrell have issued a heartfelt thank-you to the Observer and backed our high-profile campaign to make their son's dreams come true.
Ryan, eight, suffers from the incurable skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa, in which internal linings and chunks of skin blister and rip away from the body.
The tough little Accrington lad's condition will never improve but he faces a daily cocktail of medication and gruelling treatment with courage..
This week Ryan and his parents spoke from their home in Carter Street, Accrington, to thank all our readers who have so far given money to his campaign.
Mum Amanda, 30, said: "It is something we would never have been able to do ourselves and we'd like to applaud the Observer and the public for getting the appeal established. We are fully behind the campaign and Ryan is really excited about the trip to Lapland."
Ryan, who is due to visit Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London for the second of his annual check-ups, said: "Going to Lapland will be great. I love the thought of lying in the snow and seeing Santa with my family. I'd like to thank everyone for being so kind, and my grandparents for looking after me when mum and dad have a break."
Dad Shaun, 34, said: "We really are very thankful for your paper's help and your readers' generosity. Lapland is ideal for Ryan because the flight isn't too long. We'd originally mentioned Disneyland in Florida but the flight would be too long and uncomfortable for Ryan."
Published 1 October 2004