Watch Daventry five-year-old with rare illness smile as children's charity gifts her family a special VIP trip to Alton Towers
Caitlin Cushing and her mum Rebecca, dad Andrew and older sister Elise - who live in Ravensthorpe - won a Merlin's Magic Wand competition and were taken to Alton Towers for an all expenses paid VIP weekend.
To get the whole family together is an unusual event for the Cushings because days out can be few and far between because of Caitlin's condition.
"It was a really lovely weekend,” said Rebecca.
"Caitlin is a really happy child in spite of the difficulties she faces and was always going to have a great time, but it was also a good break for her dad and I and a thoroughly deserved treat for Elise.
"Because Caitlin needs constant support Elise doesn’t get nearly as much attention as other children her age, but she takes care of herself without complaint and is a really great help."
With the support of the Alton Towers Resort team, the Cushings arrived with their complimentary pass to stay overnight at the new CBeebies Land Hotel.
During the course of two fun-filled days, Caitlin met her favourite TV friends in Big Fun Showtime in CBeebies Land, enjoyed lots of rides and a meal in the resort’s Rollercoaster Restaurant.
Merlin’s Magic Wand supports children facing serious illness, disability or adversity, giving families days out at Merlin attractions across the world.
"This is a real milestone for Merlin’s Magic Wand,” said charity manager Erin Woods,
"Being able to support so many families and provide our 500,000th ticket in our 10th Birthday year makes it even more magical.
"We can’t continue this amazing work without the support of our employees, guests and generous contributors.
"I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to you all. Alone we can do a little, together we can do a lot."