Damian Myles has been fighting cancer for over a year, and when he found out it was terminal last week, his 5-year-old daughter Ruby immediately hatched a plan. Brave enough to face this kind of crushing news at such a young age, Ruby set her mind to take her father to Disneyland.
Despite the daunting nature of raising money for a trip like this, the Southport Visiter reports that with the help of the community, Ruby has raised almost $7,000 for the trip.
As soon as the family's hometown of Southport, England heard the news, people like Annie McTaggart, owner of local pub The Wellington, pitched in. Annie organized a fundraiser and a local businessman fronted the cost for the trip so the family could leave as soon as possible.
“A charitable businessman has loaned us the rest of the money because he was so moved by the family’s story, but we need to pay him back," McTaggart said. "We knew that we needed to send the family as soon as possible as we just do not know how Damian is going to be from week to week and he could quickly get to the stage where he can’t fly."
On their own, the pub raised just under $7,000, but they still need about $1,700 to pay off the generous donation from a community member. To tell Ruby the news, The Wellington teamed with Mike and Karen Parks of Part of Your World Princesses and threw a party to let the family know they'd be able to travel to Disneyland in Paris.
Ruby's favorite princesses Cinderella and Aurora from "Sleeping Beauty" were the ones who revealed the exciting news—that her wish to take her dad to Disneyland had come true. Watch them serenade her in the video below.
"I think everyone had a tear in their eye when Ruby came out and saw the princesses. She just burst into tears, it was so moving," Mike Parks of Part Of Your World Princesses told the Southport Visitor. "We do about 20 parties every weekend but to be a part of something like this makes it all worthwhile. We put a DVD together for Ruby to keep."
The family left bright and early on Tuesday of this week for their trip, and they'll return some time next week. For her part, Annie is still reeling from the support of the community.
"And to all our customers, we even had pensioners waiting at the bus stop, saw the posters and came in to give money, people have been so kind," she said. "The day was just so emotional. They are such a lovely family and Damian is one of the nicest men you can meet. He has just constantly been saying 'why are you helping me, there are others with cancer.'"
Any extra funds will go into a trust fund for Ruby. Looks like Cinderella was right—sometimes wishes do come true. If you'd like to donate, contact The Wellington on Eastbank Street in Southport.