Thursday, 4 August 2016

One thousand and more rays of sunshine

"Honestly, I'm okay thank you..". 

"Come on Alex.. Anything you want, anything you've dreamed of. Why would you not want to take up this offer? 

Why I didn't want to take up the offer of a 'wish' was simple. I had browsed the rays of sunshine website and the page which showed wishes that had previously been granted, was full of sweet, and incredibly young children with big smiles showing off their brand new iPad. I wanted to sacrifice my wish to allow another child to have an iPad. 

It was only when my youth support co-ordinator filled my mind with incredible idea's I would have never thought of.. Safari, New York trip, the idea's were coming from all over the place. This encouraged me to make my wish application. I didn't want to take advantage of this opportunity I had been given, but I had been through a lot in the previous months, so I thought maybe I did deserve a little something to give me the motivation to power through treatment. 

At first, I was hesitant due to finding it difficult to accept that it was me needing a wish. I have always heard of wishes being granted to seriously ill children, but now I was one of these children. It was hard to comprehend. I was 17 when diagnosed, so I needed to get my application in sooner rather than later as the cut off age was 18, but they are lenient in certain cases. So the idea's swirling in my mind came to life as I needed to decide on my top 3 that I would love to have as my wish.. 

"Your wish application for Whale Watching has been granted!"

I was over the moon. More than over the moon, I was absolutely ecstatic. A keen animal lover, whale watching was on my bucket list (that I should really start writing down). I had asked for it to be in a Scandinavian country, somewhere I had never visited. Iceland was chosen and I couldn't have been more thrilled with the decision that Rays of Sunshine had made. Myself and my Mum were off to Iceland for an Orca's and Aurora Trip.. in 4 and a half months time. Let the countdown begin. 

It took awhile for it to settle in that I was actually going, that there was something to look forward to after going through all my intensive treatment. I think the moment it really settled in, was when I received my itinerary that Rays of Sunshine had carefully put together for me. I can't fault the organisation of my trip at all, every little detail and more was thought of and the charity were so generous. Everyday of my trip was planned out to perfection and I was provided with information booklets about Iceland and the Orca's and Aurora trip itself. At first, I would say I was going on the trip for the love of Orca's and my mum was going for the love of Aurora (the fancy shmancy name for the northern lights). But the Aurora side of the trip definitely stole my heart. 

Unfortunately, the Orca's did not come out to play during my trip but it was a incredible experience going out on the boat, seeing the beautiful views of the peninsula and we did get visited by a pod of dolphins that seemed to swim faster than the bloody speed of light. 

The trip was jam packed with tonnes of activities, even if the town we stayed in did only have 1 supermarket, 1 hotel, 1 church and 1 cafe! The trip was arranged by 'Discover You' which meant that there were other people on the same holiday package as me and mum, but they were all so lovely and it was a pleasure to spend my wish with them. 

I climbed a volcano. I explored some of the outstandingly beautiful peninsula's that Iceland has to offer. I swam and drank pink prosecco (extra brownie points!!) in a blue lagoon. I rocked about on deck of the whale watching boat and spotted all kinds of interesting wildlife. I drank soup, and lots of it. I got a glimpse of an Orca, which had unfortunately passed away and was washed up on the shore. I discovered my new favourite yoghurt, Skyrr. So, I think it is safe to say I had an extremely successful trip. 

But that isn't everything. I always love to save the best until last.. I saw the northern lights in all its full glory for an hour and a half right outside my hotel. At first, I wasn't too bothered when we was told there was going to be an aurora storm that specific evening, which happened to be the evening of mothers day. 

I pointed out these green blobs in the sky to my mum and she didn't seem too impressed. We had no idea what kind of magical show the stars were going to put on for us that night. It was as if the clouds played the role of curtains on a theatre stage; they opened up and let the northern lights shine through. Vibrant greens, purples and even pinks brightened up the sky. The only word I can use to describe it is dancing. The stars were literally dancing in front of my eyes. My mum started to cry. "For god sake Mum, pull yourself together" I said minutes before I started to cry myself. It was one of the most wonderfully overwhelming feelings I have ever experienced in my life, and I think it will be incredibly hard to get that feeling again. I knew it was going to be a special night as the guides, that have experienced the northern lights many, many times before, started to dance around with their camera's in excitement.

My trip was once in a lifetime and the natural world brought something extra magical to it, and I would have never been able to experience it if it wasn't for the generosity of Rays of Sunshine.

I will forever be grateful and I can't express into words how thankful I am.

Mum & I watching the northern lights

Amazing picture of the northern lights, courtesy of one of our tour guides

Freezing our bottoms off on the boat 

Climbing hefty mountains with frozen toes 

Rays of sunshine continue to brighten the lives of children who are living with serious or life-limiting illnesses, between the ages of 3-18, across the United Kingdom. If you are interested in fundraising for an amazing charity, check out the rays of sunshine page.

Many other children will then have the opportunity for their wishes to be granted and to make a memory they will remember for a life time; I most certainly know I will never forget mine.


  1. Hi Alexandra,

    Your blog is so inspirational! We would love to feature your blog on a website we are developing. How can we best get in touch with you?

    You can reach us on

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


  2. Alex,

    I read through your whole blog today..

    Its amazing

    Your truly Inspirational.

    Lots of love x