Christmas 2015 was not a happy time for Ryan and Victoria’s Barkle as they were told their 2 year old daughter Abi had Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. She screamed in pain most nights and was very sick in the daytime. Just before Christmas the family were told the drugs she was taking were the source of the horrendous side effects and were not working as well as they should. A year on and her medication has the Leukemia under control with more manageable side effects. This enabled the family to have a Pied Piper Appeal special Wish Holiday. These enable a terminally ill or child with a life limiting illness to have a holiday with their family and she chose to go to Lapland.

Ryan Barkle said “The magic started at Manchester airport where we were greeted with Christmas hats and chocolate. If it tastes nice you are on Santa’s good
list and if it tastes bad you are on the naughty list! (Thankfully we had been good!). The plane ride included Christmas singsongs and games. The Reps Russ the Rudolph Reindeer and Cookie the Elf took us to the reindeer farm where we went on a sleigh ride, husky dog sledge, snowmobile ride and tobogganing with lots of gingerbread and berry juice.”

“In the afternoon we went to the snow village where the chapel, bar, restaurant, cinema, slide and hotel are all made from snow and ice. The girls threw themselves down the slide bruising themselves as they went! The next day we went to Santa’s Village and took part in the artic circle crossing ceremony. This involved drinking reindeer milk and having antler marks put on our heads. Then we met Santa! I had been training Abi not to be shy when she met him so she walked straight up to him and said “I would like a white puppy.” Her present was a white husky soft toy. Then we went to Mrs Claus’ house where she served gingerbread and hot chocolate and made cards. Daisy made an Easter Egg map and Abi made a birthday card. This was followed by cookie decorating and painting Christmas decorations at the Elf workshop.”

Abi’s highlight was sitting on a chair attached to skis with her Dad and sister Daisy travelling down the hill. After this the girls completed Elf school and partied the night away at the gala dinner back at the base in Levi. “Christmas 2016 was magical compared to the year before and we can’t thank the Pied Piper Appeal enough for this once in a lifetime opportunity for our family,” said Ryan.

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