Riley's dream comes true

Riley's dream comes true

Riley's dream comes true

First published in Local News

A SERIOUSLY ill boy has had his wish come true by swimming with dolphins.

Riley Townsend, six, from Billericay, travelled to Florida with his family to meet his favourite mammals at Discovery Cove, Orlando.

In April 2012, Riley was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a severe disorder where the filters in his kidneys become leaky and large amounts of protein drainfrom the blood into the urine.

As a result, Riley suffers pain in his legs and joints and requires medication and visits to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.

He was granted his wish after mum, Tanya, contacted the Starlight Children’s Foundation. He not only got to watch the dolphins performed tricks, but got into the water with them. He and his mum travelled with his grandma and granddad.

Tanya said: “Riley is a very kind, loving boy, who loves to make others happy.

“Riley’s face was amazing when we got to Discovery Cove. He had a huge smile all day. He loved every minute in the water, especially with Kaylee the dolphin, and even named his dolphin teddy after her.

“We can’t thank Starlight enough –- it meant so much to us as a family and to forget about hospital was a huge weight lifted.

“The best thing of all was to see Riley wearing a huge smile and having fun.”

Comments (1)

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9:53am Fri 28 Mar 14

ddf35 says...

Mixed feelings about this. it's a wonderful thing for Riley, as I know how much I love whales and dolphins and how i felt about them at that age, so if the family reads this, please dont take my following comments as any kind of insult.

But the wider issue of whales and dolphins in captivity (blackfish, the cove) makes my feelings about Discovery Cove very troubled.

I hope we can find a better way to make boys like Riley's dream come true in more humane ways. Some of the conservation trusts do good sponsor packages with lovely soft toys and you can see wild dolphins etc from various areas around Scotland and Ireland.
Mixed feelings about this. it's a wonderful thing for Riley, as I know how much I love whales and dolphins and how i felt about them at that age, so if the family reads this, please dont take my following comments as any kind of insult. But the wider issue of whales and dolphins in captivity (blackfish, the cove) makes my feelings about Discovery Cove very troubled. I hope we can find a better way to make boys like Riley's dream come true in more humane ways. Some of the conservation trusts do good sponsor packages with lovely soft toys and you can see wild dolphins etc from various areas around Scotland and Ireland. ddf35
  • Score: 1

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