A nine-year-old from Coleby has had her wish to swim with whales and dolphins granted by the Starlight Children’s Foundation
Kiki Talbot-Bradley was recently whisked away to Seaworld in San Diego, USA to swim with beluga whales and dolphins by the UK’s leading wish-making charity for young people with serious and terminal illness.
Kiki was born with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes the lungs and digestive system to become clogged with mucus, making it hard to breathe and digest food.
Mum, Jasmine, explains: “On the outside Kiki looks really well but what’s happening on the inside is a different story. Kiki has to take 58 different drugs a day to manage her condition and that’s on a good day.”
Recently Kiki has been in pain when moving, possibly due to CF related arthritis. Jasmine said: “She’s such a brave girl and never complains so seeing her cry and stopping to take breaks when she’s walking has been very hard.”
Boisterous Kiki doesn’t let CF hold her back, and she has a passion for sci-fi and film making.
Kiki will spend hours watching documentaries on animals, especially marine fish and mammals, so when referred to Starlight swimming with them was top of her list. She was accompanied by Jasmine, dad Sam and little brother Oscar.
On the morning of the swim, Kiki was too excited to eat breakfast. She couldn’t believe how big the beluga whales were and was understandably cautious. However, the whales were very friendly and let Kiki stroke them and blew her kisses, they even ate fish out of her hands. She also swam with dolphins.
Jasmine said: “Watching Kiki meet the beluga whales was simply magical and her face just lit up.
“She still talks about meeting them now and has decided that she wants to be a marine biologist or dolphin trainer when she grows up.”