A fourteen-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer from Bourne enjoyed a “trip of a lifetime” to the Monaco Grand Prix thanks to a children’s charity who wanted to put a smile back on his face.
F1 fanatic Jack Laine-Turner was whisked away by Starlight Children’s Foundation for the VIP trip in May and had the chance to meet his racing heroes including Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo - even having the chance to sit in their cars.
The teenager, who spends lots of time in hospital due to his condition, was able to soak up the atmosphere in the pit lane, hung out in the paddock, spent time at the Red Bull Energy Station and watched the race from the luxurious surroundings of the Fairmont Hotel located near a hairpin bend.
His proud mum Vicki Laine-Turner, who went along with Jack on the trip, said: “Sitting in a real F1 car has just been amazing for him and meeting the drivers. The whole thing was just amazing. Every day he was there, everything I heard out of his mouth was “oh wow”.
“Jack has had a rough few months and this trip has helped put a smile back on his face and helped him realise that although life can be hard sometimes, it can also be really good and that’s what you focus on.
“This trip has meant the world to me as Jack’s mum and I know it has to Jack too. It really is the trip of a lifetime and we can’t thank Starlight enough.”
Since returning to the UK, Jack has spent time again in hospital because he was so exhausted but even then he couldn’t stop talking about the trip of a lifetime.
Vicki said: “He has talked about nothing else than going to Monaco. He has told all the doctors and nurses about his trip to Monaco.
“A lot of the drivers took the time to chat to the children - they were absolutely brilliant with them.”
Jack, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was just four weeks old, said: “I liked meeting Bottas and Verstappen and I loved sitting in Hamilton’s car and sitting in Ricciardo’s car as well. It was amazing that we saw Jenson Button as this was his only race. I just want to say thank you to Starlight for the trip of a lifetime.”
Cystic fibrosis causes a build-up of mucus in the lungs and the pancreas, making it hard to breath and digest food. This leads to painful, chronic infections on a regular basis.
Jack, a Bourne Academy pupil, has become more aware of his condition as he’s got older but finds the intense treatment regime to manage his condition an everyday struggle.
While Jack was in hospital due to his condition in January for the sixth time in the space of a year, Vicki decided she wanted to do something to cheer him up and make one of his wishes come true.
Jack told his mum his wish was to watch a Grand Prix and so Vicki planned to take him to watch the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.
But after speaking with the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and teenagers, Vicki was able to makes Jack’s wish even better when they agreed to jet him off to Monaco for the four-day trip.
This is the ninth year that Starlight has organised the trip to Monaco and Jack was joined by four other children and their families.