Trip of a lifetime to Florida for Norwich schoolboy battling cancer

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 October 2012 | UPDATED: 18:05 24 October 2012

Horsford cancer sufferer Ben Clarke, when he received a Little Star award from Cancer Research UK last year.

Horsford cancer sufferer Ben Clarke, when he received a Little Star award from Cancer Research UK last year.

Archant © 2011; 01603 772434

A Norwich schoolboy who has spent more than two years battling leukaemia has been taken on the trip of a lifetime to Florida.

Ben Clarke was first diagnosed with leukaemia in June, 2010, the day before his 10th birthday.

The 12-year-old, from Horsford, underwent a year of intensive treatment and still has to take daily drugs, weekly blood tests, four-weekly appointments at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for chemotherapy and 12-weekly appointments at Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he has chemotherapy administered via a lumbar puncture.

The Hellesdon High School pupil’s treatment is not due to finish until September next year, and means his family have been unable to go abroad on holiday.

So when Ben was told he had been awarded a place with Dreamflight on the charity’s annual trip to Orlando for 192 seriously ill and disabled children, he was “over the moon”.

He and another boy were looked after during the trip by a doctor from Addenbrooke’s, and it also gave his parents Ian and Jo, and his younger brother Sam, eight, the chance to take their own trip abroad to Barcelona.

Ben said the trip was “amazing” and his favourite part was swimming with dolphins and going on all the roller coaster rides at the theme parks.

Mrs Clarke, who lives in Meadowsweet, said: “It has given him such a boost to his confidence and his independence, as they get to be without parents.”

Do you have a story about a brave child who has cancer? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email

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