A five-year-old’s dream of taking her dad to Disneyland “before the angels come for him” has come true thanks to the generosity of people in Southport.
Damian Myles is only 42 and was last week told that he had just months to live after fighting cancer for more than a year.
His only daughter, Ruby’s wish was to go on a trip of a lifetime with her daddy following his devastating news.
Unable to afford the holiday the whole community has dug deep to give the Southport family memories that they can treasure forever.
Annie McTaggart, who runs The Wellington on Eastbank Street, helped to organise fundraising for Damian and Ruby and held a princess party at the pub to tell the brave family that they had week long tickets to the resort in Paris.
Annie said: “The day was just so emotional. They are such a lovely family and Damian is one of the nicest men you can meet. He has just constantly been saying ‘why are you helping me, there are others with cancer.’
“Ruby had come downstairs one morning and said “Daddy I am taking you to Disneyland before the angels come for you.” When I gave her the tickets she said “does this mean I can take my daddy to Disneyland?” – it was overwhelming.”
Dedicated fundraisers were able to send the Myles family so quickly thanks to a generous local businessman who fronted the money for the trip.
Annie said: “We worked hard to reach our total but Disneyland is expensive.
“We knew that we needed to send the family as soon as possible as we just do not know how Damian is going to be from week to week and he could quickly get to the stage where he can’t fly.
“A charitable businessman has loaned us the rest of the money because he was so moved by the family’s story, but we need to pay him back.”
In just one week the pub was able to raise £4,130 with the help of others, but they still need over £1,000 to pay off the holiday.
Having set off at 4am on Tuesday morning Ruby and her mum and dad And will return next week.
Annie said: “We would like to thank everyone who has already donated; Merseyrail, Abellio UK London, Gryphen Management Chroley, the Community Link Foundation and Amber Taverns.
“And to all our customers, we even had pensioners waiting at the bus stop, saw the posters and came in to give money, people have been so kind.
“Any extra funds we raise will going a trust fund for Ruby because she deserves that.”
Mike and Karen Parks from Part of Your World Princesses arranged for Ruby’s favourite characters Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to come and surprise her.
Mike said: “I think everyone had a tear in their eye when Ruby came out and saw the princesses. She just burst into tears, it was so moving.
“We do about 20 parties every weekend, but to be part of something like this makes it all worthwhile. We put together a DVD of the day for Ruby to keep.”
To donate, please add to the collection buckets at The Wellington, Eastbank Street, Southport.
Note to editors
The Community Link Foundation is the charity for the people of Southport, Formby, Ormskirk, Ainsdale, Burscough, Hesketh Bank, Rufford and Banks, and the communities within these catchment boundaries. We have a passion for supporting the people and organisations within our Community and invest in the people who live in it so that we can all be proud of where we live.
For more information please contact:
Ron Hutchinson – Head of Fundraising
T: 01704 531080