A first class trip for Harry
1:30pm Saturday 27th April 2013 in By Katie Bond, @SwindonAdver007
A SCHOOLBOY who loves trains, cars and all things fast was granted a wish of travelling in the cab alongside a train driver.
Harry Kemp, 11, of Rodbourne Cheney, was invited on to the Virgin Train by Make A Wish Foundation UK, a charity which provides such trips for children facing life-threatening conditions.
Harry was diagnosed in October with acute myeloid leukaemia after complaining of double vision.
He had the first of four cycles of chemotherapy just two days later, which left him with no hair and a very low immune system.
Subsequently, from November to mid-March, Harry was either home or hospital-bound as he regularly picked up infections.
He finished his last round of chemotherapy in February and has now gone back to school part-time.
But on April 9, Harry had a day away from school and hospitals along with his family. He was met at Euston Station in London by Girish Jani, Virgin Trains’ driver team manager, and was given the opportunity to ride in the cab alongside driver Craig Brook on a train to Crewe, in a wish day described by Harry as “epic”.
Mum Emma said: “One of the toughest parts of Harry’s illness was the disruption to family life because either myself or my husband Paul would stay with Harry in hospital and the other would be at home with his older sister, Jessica.
“I haven’t got the right words to say how grateful we are for being given the opportunity to spend time together as a family and not have to worry about Harry and hospital appointments.
“It was lovely to see our children smiling and laughing – thank you doesn’t cover it.”
While in the train cab, Harry learned about what the different buttons did, and was able to sound the horn.
Once Harry and his family were in Crewe they visited the Virgin Trains Talent Academy where they got to experience a train simulator and explore a disused train before heading back to London in First Class.
Back in December, Harry was surprised with a trip to Legoland, after he was nominated for an Adver Christmas Wish by family friend Pamela Durston.