Schoolgirl with a brain tumour granted heartwarming wish to be a teacher for a day

Schoolgirl with a brain tumour granted heartwarming wish to be a teacher for a day

We all have dreams that we wish would come true: hopes and aspirations that are near and dear to our hearts, some of which are attainable, others which are impossible. Every once in a while however, an impossible dream becomes attainable, and people get what they really desire. Schoolgirl Leah McDonald had always been a hard worker: a real-life Hermione Granger who studied hard, handed homework in on time, and who never took a day off sick ... until 2015, when everything changed.

Leah, who was then six-years-old, was suffering from a bobbing eye which made her unable to control her own line of sight. Concerned, her mother Elaine consulted a doctor, and Leah was scheduled for an MRI scan as a precaution. However, Leah's condition deteriorated practically overnight, and she was rushed to Ninewells hospital in Dundee, where scans revealed that she had a suprasellar pilocytic astrocytoma - a benign tumour, but one that could cause problems if it grew any larger.

An image of Leah McDonald on a swing. Credit: Press Association

A large operation managed to remove around 70 per cent of the growth, but Leah still had to endure 18 months of chemotherapy. Leah spent most of her time in the hospital, where she missed out on a lot of her schoolwork. She tried to keep up with her studies, but the child felt frustrated that she was falling behind. Nurses at Ninewells hospital decided to contact the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who arranged things to make Leah the schoolteacher of a classroom for a day.

Commenting on her daughter's experience in a recent interview, Elaine stated: "It all happened in the summer of 2018, as we had a lot going on with Leah and all her hospital appointments, so had to wait a while. But it was amazing. First, they sent her through lots of lovely things in the post – a lanyard to hold her ‘teacher’s ID card,’ a personalised notebook and so on. Then, they picked her up in a limo and took her off for a pampering session to prepare her. On the day itself, she was so confident, leading the class all day and even awarding some certificates.

She added: "After everything Leah has been through, it was wonderful for us as parents to have a special day of great memories. She’ll remember that day for the rest of her life, and now her heart is set on becoming a teacher for real more than ever. I can’t thank Make-A-Wish UK enough. They go above and beyond, making an amazing effort with every child."

An image of Leah McDonald with her sister in hospital. Credit: Press Association

Elaine is now a firm supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and has entered into a partnership with The Original Factory Shop. They've now a limited edition of pyjamas for the whole family, (including PJs for dogs), with £2 from every sale going to the charity. It's good to see that dreams really can come true: but I'm sure that a hard worker like Leah will manage to become a teacher for real later in life.