Bourne schoolgirl swims with dolphins

Lauryn Atkinson enjoys swimming with dolphins
Lauryn Atkinson enjoys swimming with dolphins
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A SCHOOLGIRL has enjoyed a holiday of a lifetime thanks to generous fundraisers.

Lauryn Atkinson, eight, was able to fulfill her dream of swimming with dolphins and taking on some of Florida’s most exhilarating rides in a two week trip to America.

Generous people in Bourne helped to raise more than £3,000 three years ago, shortly after Lauryn’s diagnosis.

A year ago Lauryn, who goes to Bourne Westfield Primary School, was not allowed to swim, let alone fly, because of her treatment and an intravenous line in her body.

But now the brave little girl, who is in remission, has been to Orlando for a holiday to remember.

Her mum Claire Lees described Lauryn as an “adrenaline junkie” she enjoyed all the fast rides at the theme parks.

Claire, who with husband Derek saved up a further £3,000 to take the family to Florida, has thanked the generous people who raised money and said the holiday was a goal to help Lauryn through her treatment.

She said: “I would like to thank everybody who donated to make Lauryn’s dream a reality and it was an amazing holiday.

“We would never have been able to go were it not for the people who donated so generously.

“She’s an adrenaline junkie - the bigger and faster the rides the better. At one point she was really upset as she couldn’t get on one of the adult rides as she was 1cm too short.”

One of the highlights of the trip for Lauryn was to spend half an hour swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove.

Claire said Lauryn enjoyed swimming across holding onto the dorsal fin and being pulled along.

Claire, who has two other daughters Evie, three, and five-month-old Chloe, said: “She was absolutely amazed and it was lovely.”

Lauryn also enjoyed visiting theme parks including Disney World, Universal Studios and Hollywood Studios where the youngster discovered her favourite ride, the Rock’n’Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, which travels from 0-60mph in a few seconds.

Lauryn was diagnosed with leukaemia in July, 2008, just a few days after her fifth birthday.

She had been having regular chemotherapy at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge until October. She is now in remission but still has to attend clinics for blood tests.