June 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Two south Norfolk teenagers who suffer from a rare genetic condition have had their dreams come true after they met their favourite band – One Direction.
Sisters Samantha and Lucy Beckwith, 16 and 13 respectively, who both suffer from cystinosis, travelled to London to meet the band last weekend.
The day was made possible by two charities – the Make-A-Wish foundation and Rays of Sunshine – which help poorly children’s dreams come true.
The teenagers, who live in Admirals Walk, Hingham, went with their dad, Paul, 47, a postman, and mum, Juliet, 43, a carer.
Samantha, who is in Year 11 at Attleborough High School and Lucy, who is in Year 9, had a tour of the capital in a limousine before meeting the band. The family were taken into a room and had to count down from five before the band appeared from behind the curtains. They spent about 20 minutes with the boys taking photos, signing autographs and asking questions before the family then had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and spent the night in the Hilton Hotel in Westminster.
Samantha, who had a kidney transplant two years ago, said: “It was really weird – you see them on the TV all the time and then they are in the same room as you.
“They signed my poster and T-shirt and I asked them to sign my friend’s maths book. It was the best day ever. They are my biggest inspiration.”
Samantha was diagnosed with cystinosis, a genetic disorder which can lead to kidney problems, when she was three years old.
“It took doctors nine months to diagnose her because it’s so rare,” Mr Beckwith said. “Lucy was diagnosed within a couple of months. They have problems with muscles and crystals in their eyes. They have a lot of medical appointments and the focus is around the kidneys.”
The girls asked who the singers would most like to make a live video with on Twitter and which historical period they would want to travel back to.
“All of them said they would want to go back to the age of the dinosaur and Niall said he would want to twitcam with Frank Sinatra,” Mr Beckwith said.