Belfast Telegraph

Ryan airborne with Cliff Richard for Dreamflight holiday of a lifetime to US

Catherine Wylie

A little boy from Northern Ireland is winging his way to the US on the holiday of a lifetime with Sir Cliff Richard and almost 200 other seriously ill or disabled children.

True to form, Sir Cliff burst in to a rendition of his hit Summer Holiday on board the Florida-bound plane as it prepared for take-off.

The British Airways-supported charity Dreamflight is "probably one of the most exciting things that's happened" in the children's lives, said Sir Cliff.

Having just jetted in from Miami to wave goodbye to the group – who are from all over the UK – he said: "Dreamflight is such a wonderful idea – the fact that these very sick children have a dream of going to Disney, and suddenly, there's this plane.

"It's probably one of the most exciting things that's happened to them."

Now in its 27th year, the annual trip includes the opportunity for each child to swim with dolphins.

But 14-year-old Ryan Shannon suspects that the glamour of a Hollywood studio might prove even better.

Wheelchair user Ryan, from Belfast, said he was "really excited" about the trip.

He said: "I can't wait to go. All of us can't wait."

Ryan said he is looking forward to "everything really", but especially Universal Studios.

He added that his family are "delighted" that he is going on the trip.

The children will be looked after during the action-packed week of fun by 15 doctors, 50 nurses and 12 or 13 physios – all volunteers.

The total cost of the trip is around £750,000, all funded by voluntary contributions.

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