SLIDESHOW: Dream trip for Epworth family

Isle ambassador family the Strongs took their quest to help stricken families to the small screen this week, helping to promote the work of charities that provide vital support.

Epworth family Maxine, Mark and Olivia Strong were chosen to go on ITV’s This Morning programme to talk about the experience of losing their beloved Alexander to a rare form of cancer last year, when he was aged just seven. They promote the important work of the Bluebell Wood Hospice and the charity Together for Short Lives.

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“It costs three million pounds a year to provide Bluebell Wood’s service to families in the region, and they receive less than five per cent statutory funding,” said Alexander’s mum Maxine Strong.

“Also they care for over 180 children with a vast range of complex needs. They support the whole family on their journey offering respite care, day care provisions, community support, crisis intervention and end of life treatment and care.”

Maxine, her husband Mark and daughter Olivia were flown out to Disney World in Florida by ITV to be filmed there for the programme, and will also appear on tomorrow night’s Text Santa, chatting to Peter Andre.

Along with another selected family, the Strongs switched on five million Disney lights in Florida, hob-nobbed with the stars including the cast of hit film Frozen, and got VIP treatment at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort with spa, where they stayed with Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan.

“We had the most amazing experience,” said Maxine, who also told her facebook followers: “There hasn’t been a moment our darling Lex hasn’t been in our thoughts.”

She told the Bells: “Christmas is daunting for us so to have such a wonderful experience as this has 
been fantastic.”