Thanks to Joss Searchlight (Children’s Brain Tumour Charity) 13 year old Danielle met the X Factor finalists and judges at Fountain Studios this weekend
Bedfordshire teenager, Danielle Leefarr, her twin sister Laura, mum and dad,were invited to be special guests on the X Factor. Danielle was diagnosed with a brain tumour and spent a whole year in hospital with complications following a brain tumour operation. Danielle lost the ability to walk and talk and has had to battle hard to overcome her difficulties.
Children’s brain tumour charity Joss Searchlight was approached by Sally Leefarr to help make her very sick daughters wish come true. Joss Searchlight was established after the death of Joss Parkes and is a charity which provides practical and emotional support for families affected by childhood brain tumours. The charity also creates magical wishes for children with a brain tumour.
Danielle’s long weekend commenced early with a 10.00am scheduled meeting with the finalists and judges on the X-Factor.
Dermot O’Leary was on set bright and early and turned on his charm to impress the Leefarr family. After practising his “Dermot Dance” he came off stage to chat with the family. He was great fun and made Danielle laugh by pretending to be a teenager with attitude!
Danielle was relieved that her favourite act, boy band Union J, who had been in the bottom two acts last week, were still in the competition. The boys were amazing to Danielle and to her twin sister Laura. They sat and chatted with the girls and were so supportive of everything Danielle has suffered. Danielle was so excited to meet them on set and also again when they approached her in the studio restaurant. They were all so natural and friendly. Josh from Union J sent out a Tweet. Thirty minutes later it had been re-tweeted 800 times. When Danielle left the studios she felt like a celebrity with so many teenage fans asking her about the boy band.
The family spent the whole of Friday on set before being chauffeured to the four star Hilton Hotel in Wembley for a relaxing swim, and use of the spa. Saturday afternoon they were back on set for the dress rehearsal followed by the live show. They were they were lucky to chat further with the finalists. Christopher Maloney was especially friendly to the family and seemed very moved by Danielle’s story. Chris and Union J all wore their Joss Searchlight wristbands in support of Danielle and children like her. It was very moving that they seemed to care so much.
“Wow, it was amazing to meet all of Union J, they are my favourite. My mum screamed with delight to meet her favourite act, Christopher Maloney.”
Sally Leefarr, Danielle’s mum says:
“What a fantastic weekend, one we will never forget. We all enjoyed the whole weekend, you must have put so much work into making it so special and we are all so very thankful”
Dianne Parkes, Founding Trustee of Joss Searchlight says:
"I am passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people with a brain tumour." I took my own son for a “meet and greet” at the X Factor in 2010. He described that day as “the best day of his life”. He sadly died weeks later. Children with a brain tumour suffer so much, as do their immediate families. After all their suffering, we wanted to give Danielle and her family a really special time and let them know there can be good times ahead. I’m so delighted that Danielle loved her special weekend so much. We will continue to give ongoing support to the Leefarr family and do our best to create some more smiles”
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Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Joss Searchlight, on Monday 19 November, 2012. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/