Big support to back ill girl’s Disneyland dream

Toni and Chiara Danks
Toni and Chiara Danks

With more than 200 people turning out to support a fundraising day for a Kirton child with a life-threatening illness, it’s no wonder her mum was overcome with emotion.

Five-year-old Chiara Danks suffers with Macrophage Activation Syndrome – a potentially-fatal complication of rheumatic disease - and the Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

She has spent much of her childhood enduring tests and procedures at a children’s hospital in Sheffield.

The fun day, called Chaira’s Dream Fundraiser, was held at Kirton Leisure Centre recently to raise cash for the youngster to go on a dream trip to Disneyland.

“I cried because I just didn’t expect that amount of people to show up and support us,” said mum Toni Danks. “There was at least 200 people.”

“Chiara absolutely loved it - she was going around and playing and talking to everybody, she had a great time.”

When her face-painter cancelled, single mum Toni even stepped in on the day to do the face-oainting herself. “I got really good at doing the Hello Kitty and tiger faces by the end of the day,” she said. “

AJ Dance performed and there was a visit from a Skegness Stadium stock car for the children to sit in, along with Skinners Ice-cream, a bouncy castle, tombola and raffle. Many of the prizes were donated by local businesses and individuals, with Fossitt and Thorne, photographer Samantha Johnson, a Kirton butchers, flower shop and bakers giving to the cause. Boston’s Assembly Rooms, Out of the Cage pet shop and Voodoo Tattoo also donated prizes. Shelley Grant even offered the use of her Egyptian holiday villa for a week.

“This was won by a lady on the raffle, but when we told her she said she was terrified of flying so gave it back to us to auction off,” said Toni.

The total now stands at £900 - but more is still needed to enable Toni and Chiara to get to Disneyland.

If you can help visit the Justgiving page at