Teenager meets her musical heroes thanks to wish fund

Maisie Barker, 14, and JLS
Maisie Barker, 14, and JLS

ONE of Britain’s biggest pop groups have made a Halifax girl’s dream come true.

Maisie Barker, from Bradshaw, travelled to London to meet her music heroes – hit boy band JLS.

“I was so excited,” she said.

“I’ve been to see them perform twice, in Liverpool and Manchester.

“My favourite member is JB.

“I think some of my friends are jealous.”

The trip was organised by children’s charity Rays of Sunshine.

Maisie, who is 14 and goes to Trinity Academy in Halifax, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was five-months-old.

The illness affects internal organs, clogging the lungs and digestive system with mucus, making it hard to breathe and digest food.

During one of her hospital stays, a nurse was so impressed by the teenager’s courage she nominated her to have a wish granted by Rays of Sunshine.

The charity was formed in 2004 to help children who are living with serious or life-limiting illnesses between the ages of three and 18 across the United Kingdom.

It grants children’s wishes and helps hospitals, hospices and specialist schools improve their facilities.

The fund arranged for Maisie, her mum Melissa, 11-year-old brother Adam and family friend Sarah Riley to travel to London to stay in a hotel.

They met the pop stars the next day, who posed for photographs and answered their questions. Afterwards, Maisie and the rest of the group were taken by a limousine to enjoy a trip on the London Eye and then a slap up meal at Planet Hollywood.

Maisie’s mum said she was thrilled for her daughter, who has bravely dealt with her condition.

“I’m delighted for her, she’s a massive JLS fan,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Rays of Sunshine said: “Maisie is a happy, confident girl who loves all things girly. She does well at school even though she misses a lot of time there when she is ill or in hospital.

“She is very caring and kind and has a special bond with her brother and friends.”