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Magical Disney trip for brave girl who survived cot blaze

The family of a resilient schoolgirl who raised more than £200,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital have reflected on a magical trip to Disneyland Paris.

The 2018 theme park holiday was a dream come true for Elizabeth Soffe and her family after extremely challenging years.

Inspirational Elizabeth was severely burned in a cot fire, aged only six months, leaving her with third degree burns over 65 per cent of her body – causing her to lose most of her hair and fingers.

Read more: Brave schoolgirl raises more than £200,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital

It left the Kings Heath youngster, now eight, needing years of treatment at the children’s hospital, including around 70 skin grafts and operations.

Determined to give back, Elizabeth ran a mile every day for 26 days to raise the stunning amount – despite her limited movement.

The marathon-runner’s magical trip to Disneyland was made possibly with Make-A-Wish UK, this year’s Mirror Christmas Appeal charity.

Elizabeth met Snow White at the resort

Elizabeth was joined by dad Liam, mum Sinead and her siblings on a experience which is remembered fondly by the family.

Liam told the Mirror: “We hadn’t been on holiday since the fire, so it was amazing for all of us, and something I think we needed.

“The trip was a really magical experience for all of us, and Elizabeth was made to feel very special.

“We didn’t have to queue and got to meet all six of the princesses; so it really was a dream for her. We met Minnie Mouse too, and I think everyone was starstruck by her.

BrumWish 2021 aims to get thousands of Christmas gifts to young children in need across our city – the homeless, the vulnerable, kids in care and kids who have little.

This year’s appeal is bigger and better than ever – because we have teamed up with our partners at #Toys4Birmingham, including Thrive Together Birmingham, the Birmingham Playcare Network, the Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham Forward Steps.

Also involved are Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnardo’s, Spurgeon’s children’s charity, the Springfield project in Sparkhill, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Your Local Pantry, which runs food hubs in 12 locations across Birmingham and the Black Country.

You can buy a gift from the #Brumwish Amazon Wishlist here.

Or you can collect and drop off donations of new and nearly new toys and gifts to special donation days at Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU, on Saturday November 27, Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4, from 11am to 3pm, where volunteers will be waiting to see you.

Brand new or nearly new, unwrapped gifts, books and toys for all ages will be accepted.

You can also donate cash, which will go into a fund held by a charity partner to use to plug gaps or buy specialist toys for children with additional needs. This is the link to make a donation.

“The highlight for Elizabeth was having tea and cakes with the Disney princesses – what little girl wouldn’t love that?”

Liam added the family are extremely grateful to the “fantastic” charities which have helped them over the years.

“But Make-A-Wish have been really special to us,” he said, “All six of us went on this trip together and it was absolutely fantastic.”

Birmingham Children’s Hospital has used the funds raised by Elizabeth to buy a new Fractional CO2 laser machine. It helps breaks down scars to make them less visible and uncomfortable.

Birmigham Children’s Hospital Charity said: “A huge congratulations– and an even bigger thank you – are in order for Elizabeth Soffe who completed her very own marathon challenge for our charity.

“Despite all the challenges she’s faced, Elizabeth has grown up to be a remarkably confident, happy and wise young girl – with a great outlook on life.”

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