Twelve year old Paul Harrison, from Charmouth near Bridport, England, has had his animation-themed wish granted by Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
In October 2009 and just five weeks in to starting at a new secondary school, Paul was diagnosed with Stage 4 abdominal Burkitt lymphoma (sporadic), which is a life threatening form of cancer occurring in children and young people. As a result of his condition, Paul has required an intensive series of chemotherapy treatments and is now in complete remission.
Paul, who at the age of five joined Mensa, the society for people whose IQ is in the top two per cent of the population, decided that he would like to visit an animation studio as he has already written the script for his first animated film, Exit Denver!
Paul’s mother Caroline told Starlight that her son is “a very bright boy, who has a very good sense of humour and is normally very active”. Though Paul had little time to make friends at his new school before he was diagnosed with cancer, she said: “He has been such a little star through treatment and he deserves something really special. We are very, very proud of him.”
The charity organised for him to spend two days at the Arts University College at Bournemouth, with Paul Hilton, who teaches on the animation production course, and the wider animation department, where he was able to learn about the different types of animation and talk to the students about their projects.
Then, Paul and his parents, Caroline and Philip, and his sister Lauren, were invited to spend a day at Framestore, which is one of the largest visual effects and computer animation studios in Europe. The Framestore team made sure that Paul and his family were given the VIP treatment and a special tour of the studio. As a memento of his wish, Framestore had also arranged for an animated poster of Paul’s film script to be created, which Paul now has in pride of place in his very own ‘animation studio’ at home.
After his wish, Paul said: “Thank you for organising the wish-of-a-lifetime (in my eyes!) — I can’t thank you enough.Â The day at Framestore was fantastic and I couldn’t have wished for any more. I really enjoyed finding out about all the fascinating parts of an animations studio and going into the private cinema. That was really cool! But the thing I enjoyed most was the experience.”