Monday 9th July 2012
Teenager Jennifer Harkness has been granted a wish to meet her acting idol Alex Walkinshaw on the set of TV show Casualty,
Jennifer, 17, was treated to a day on the set of the long-running BBC medical drama by Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, a charity which grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
She is a big fan of Alex, who plays nurse Adrian "Fletch" Fletcher, and who previously appeared in The Bill and Waterloo Road.
Jennifer, from Aldershot, in Hampshire, was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. She first started experiencing painful stomach aches at the age of 12 and her mum, also called Jennifer, took her to see their GP.
Blood tests confirmed she had neuroblastoma stage 4, and she was immediately taken to The Royal Marsden Hospital, in south-west London.
Jennifer had to endure a year of chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy and immunotherapy. She also had surgery to remove one of her kidneys and will be on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the rest of her life.
For her wish, Jennifer, visited the Casualty set last month to watch show newcomer Alex record scenes. She had lunch with him and found out more about how the programme is put together. Jennifer was also given a small walk-on part, but was adamant that meeting Alex was the highlight of her day.
She said: "This is my absolute dream, it has been the best day of my life. I've really enjoyed it."
Alex said: "Meeting Jenny has been absolutely fantastic. She's a very brave girl and she's been a joy to show around."
About 1,400 children will turn to Make-A-Wish this year. The charity needs to raise £6.8 million in 2012 to help fulfil their wishes and receives no government or lottery funding. To support the charity visit http://www.make-a-wish.org.uk or call 01276 405060.