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N.L. teen granted wish trip to Italy

Sixteen-year-old Erica Budden receives her Wish travel package at Inmarsat in Mount Pearl on Friday morning from David Thornhill, Inmarsat’s senior vice-president Group IT, as her family and Inmarsat staff looked on. She and her family head for Italy on Sunday.
Sixteen-year-old Erica Budden receives her Wish travel package at Inmarsat in Mount Pearl on Friday morning from David Thornhill, Inmarsat’s senior vice-president Group IT, as her family and Inmarsat staff looked on. She and her family head for Italy on Sunday. - Joe Gibbons

Children’s Wish Foundation, Inmarsat join forces to send Erica Budden and family on dream vacation … and that’s no mythological tale

A chance visit to a foreign country, thoughts evoked by a book based on mythology and a serious medical ailment served as the basis for a dream-fulfilling venture a St. John’s family will embark on this weekend.

Erica was diagnosed with a brain tumour on Jan. 20, 2017 and had surgery to alleviate the buildup of fluid that occurred because of her affliction.

Because of the serious nature of her illness, Erica and her family were approached while she was in the hospital about the Children’s Wish Foundation, and they learned they would be eligible for a trip.

“I like the idea of taking my family on a trip. I am very excited for this,’’ said Erica, 16 years old and a Grade 10 student at Gonzaga High School in St. John’s, following Friday’s presentation.

“We went to Europe a few years ago and we ended up in Italy for a few hours on our trip, and I always remembered how much I like it and wanted to go back,’’ she said.

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Her interest in mythology will be stoked as she visits places where many ancient Roman myths and stories originated.

The draw of gondolas moving around the canals of Venice — something she has always loved — will be the icing on the cake.

Erica enjoys classic Greek mythology, as well, including the stories of Narcissus and Adonis.
Narcissus was a hunter from
Thespiae in Boeotia who was known for his beauty. The son of river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope, he was proud and disdained those who loved him.

Adonis, the mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite, is one of Erica’s favourites. His name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is the archetype.

“This means a lot to us as a family,’’ Erica’s mother Sueanne Reid said of the trip.
“We are going to seize the moment and have something for us as a family.”
David Thornhill, senior vice-president, Group IT, Inmarsat, and a group of nearly 200 employees took on the challenge of raising money as part of its commitment to the Chlidren’s Wish Foundation N.L.
Thornhill announced the granting of the wish to Erica and her family during a gathering in the Inmarsat lunch room Friday morning.

“We want this to be a stress-free trip for you and your family,’’ Thornhill said after presenting them with the tickets for their trip, a piece of carry-on luggage, travel books, a diary, knapsack, T-shirts and identification badges which will afford them some additional privileges over the course of their trip.

Thornhill also presented Erica’s family with a cheque to help with expenses and incidental costs along the way.

“This was a real picker-upper for her following the surgery,’’ said Geoff Budden, Erica’s dad.
“Her health is mostly stable now and we are fortunate to be able to be part of this generous gift.”

Erica and her family are scheduled to depart on Sunday.

samuel.mcneish@thetelegram

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