LITTLE Ryan Cottrell's dream holiday to see Santa in Lapland is hanging in the balance after doctors told the youngster he will have to undergo an iron transfusion.
Ryan, who has an incurable skin condition, will go into Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, on 12 December, for five days, which could stop him from making the trip before Christmas Day.
He underwent a blood transfusion as a temporary measure last week but needs the iron transfusion because of low iron levels in his blood.
Despite the setback, the eight-year-old, of Carter Street, Accrington, is determined to go to see Father Christmas, and his family said they are still hoping to get to Lapland before 25 December.
Ryan's dad Shaun, 34, said: "We are not quite sure what will happen because we will only get back from London on 18 December and it will be a bit of a push with it being so close to Christmas.
"We are going to have a look and see what we can find but we will just have to play it by ear.
"When Ryan comes back from hospital he is going to be tired so we want to leave it as late as we can. It's just one of those things, we weren't expecting it ourselves.
"Ryan keeps pestering us and saying he wants to go this year and we will keep trying."
But Shaun said that whatever happened the money donated by generous Observer readers would be put to good use to help Ryan.
Meanwhile, money is continuing to pour into the appeal and our total this week hit £12,447 - more than double our original target.
This week's donations were: £265 from Accrington Old Band Club, which organised a raffle; £300 from Stanhill Working Men's Club, which raffled off a mountain bike donated by Interbrew; £102 collected at Accrington Town Hall and Scaitcliffe House from council employees by the Sports Development Team; £20 from staff at Marks and Spencer, Accrington; and £5 from C Harris, Oswaldtwistle.
The last events for our appeal will be a sponsored chest wax and fun day at Accrington Stanley function room on Sunday; a charity car wash at Baxenden Autowash on 20 November; and a family night at the Brooks Club in Accrington on 1 December.