A DREAM came true for brave seven year old Georgia Cocking, who has battled against leukaemia for three years, when she got a chance to dance with the cast of High School Musical for BBC1 programme 'Tonight's the Night'.
A fortnight ago the High School Musical cast surprised Georgia at Killowen Primary School to ask if she would join them and go to London the following day to perform on the BBC1 show hosted by John Barrowman.
Needless to day Georgia agreed. And there to witness her surprise and delight were her grandfather and mum Debbie Collins. The following day Georgia, a member a Starburst drama group based at Chapel Hill, and Debbie flew to London to attend a rehearsal at the BBC studios at Shepherds Bush. During their three night stay Georgia performed with the cast in front of an audience of 400 and later went to see the stage show.
The programme will be broadcast next Saturday, May 23, and to celebrate Georgia's family will be holding a double celebration party. They are inviting friends and family to watch the airing of the show - and celebrate the second anniversary (April 5) of the bone marrow transplant which changed Georgia's life.
The Anthony Nolan Trust put her name forward for the show after they were approached by the BBC and asked if they knew anyone who liked to perform and had a dream wish.
Debbie said: "Georgia loves performing and is a huge fan of the show so she just couldn't believe it when she was asked to join the cast. She kept saying 'why me?'
She was truly lost for words and totally overwhelmed when she was told. She's crazy about the show and loves to sing and dance. It was truly a dream come true."
Georgia, who suffered from myeloid leukaemia since she was four, also got to meet John Barrowman, who she adores.
"He was brilliant with her," said Debbie. "He was falling about the floor making her laugh."
Georgia is still in remission following her transplant two years ago and receives treatment every 12 weeks. She recently went for immunisation injections again, a positive sign that she is improving.
Debbie continued: "Georgia got up in front of 400 people. I couldn't have done it but she was not a bit nervous and took to it like a duck to water."
Debbie hopes the show will also highlight a serious message - to highlight the Anthony Nolan Trust and the need for more donors. "We hope Georgia's story will encourage more bone marrow donors and show how a transplant can change your life," she said. "Georgia may not have been with us if it had not been for the Anthony Nolan Trust and the donor in America who gave her her life back.
"We were absolutely devastated when Georgia was diagnosed - I was constantly terrified that the next time she went to sleep she wouldn't wake up. "The feeling when they said they had a match for a bone marrow transplant was out of this world -we knew it was Georgia's best chance for survival. She's going well now - I can't put into words how brilliant it feels."