Two years on from spending Christmas in hospital, five-year-old Daisy Wigginton has been chosen for the ‘holiday of a lifetime’ this Christmas with a trip to meet Santa Claus in Lapland.
The competition, run by the Chichester construction company NJS Group Ltd, will send Daisy and her family to Sweden for three nights to enjoy the northern lights, a ‘snowmobile adventure’, ‘husky experience’ and a private family meeting with the man himself, Father Christmas.
Dad Darren Wigginton, from Tide Way, Bracklesham Bay, said he couldn’t believe the news that Daisy was chosen.
The father of three said: “I was completely shocked. She goes into hospital quite a bit when she gets a temperature. I filled in the nomination when she was in hospital.”
Darren said he was sat in the waiting room when he saw the application and decided to fill it in, he added: “I didn’t think anything of it, it is such an amazing thing to be given and it is perfect timing.
“We are trying to keep it a secret up until the day. It will be a tricky one. Maybe we will break the news at the airport.”
Daisy was diagnosed with a Lymphoblastic lymphoma on December 3 2016. The family spent Christmas day in hospital.
The reason for the nomination reads: “Daisy is our five-year-old daughter who, at the age of three years old was diagnosed with cancer.
“She has been battling it since but has been unfortunate with picking up infections due to a low immune system. Her treatment is for two and a half years so we have around one year to go.
“It would be amazing to be able to take her and her sisters.”
“To meet Santa in the flesh, they so deserve as many memories as possible. Daisy has been exceptionally brave throughout this, such a strong little fighter who shouldn’t have to be dealing with this at her age.”
Nick Shopland, CEO of NJS Ltd, which organised the competition over the past couple years, said: “We always want to give something back to the local area to people who deserve it.
“It was an emotional story and I thought Daisy was the ideal candidate. It has been a tough time for her.
“The decision was hard — we had about 40 or 50 entries, we want to do all of them.
“They seem like a lovely family and the girl has had a tough time. We are happy to give her something to remember.
“It’s what Christmas is all about isn’t it. We are just trying to help really.”
Another Christmas campaign by the company sees them bring presents to children at St Richards Hospital.