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Terminally ill schoolboy’s dying wish granted after he rides in Ferrari on birthday following Facebook appeal

A terminally-ill schoolboy whose dying wish was to sit in a Ferrari was stunned – when NINE of the supercars turned up at his birthday party following a Facebook appeal.

Relatives of Toby Penrose launched a social media campaign to find a Ferrari owner who would be willing to pop along to his 11th birthday bash as a surprise.

But they were delighted when nine strangers responded and lined up their Italian-made sports cars outside the Esplanade Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, on Sunday.

Toby in one of the cars

Toby in one of the cars

Toby – who suffers from the rare degenerative brain disease Adrenoleukodystrophy – then made his way along a red carpet in his wheelchair to inspect the vehicles.

The excited youngster then got to rev the accelerators as fellow Ferrari drivers sounded their horns.

Emily, 47, said: “One of the things he said he wanted last week was, ‘for my birthday I would like to have a Ferrari.’

“All young boys would like to have a Ferrari for their birthday, I’m sure, but obviously we weren’t going to get him a Ferrari.

The cars

The cars

“I told him, ‘you’re not old enough.’

“So he then said he’d like to sit in a Ferrari, so I said fantastic, wonderful.

“We posted a message on Facebook and through the wonderful power of social media we’ve ended up with nine cars so far.”

One of the Ferraris

One of the Ferraris

Mother-of-two Emily, who cares for Toby full-time at their home in Truro, Cornwall, had got in touch with a friend who decided to create an event on Facebook.

Lots of people shared the event and joined the page, leading to several people around the country – who Emily didn’t know – showing up to the day with their flash cars.

Emily added: “He just sat in the red one with the biggest smile on his face I’ve ever seen.

“The support from all of these people – who most of them we’ve never met – is absolutely amazing.”

Another of the Ferraris

Another of the Ferraris

Toby, who was an active, healthy karate-loving football fan until last year, suffers from a deadly genetic disease affects one in 18,000 people.

Adrenoleukodystrophy – or ALD – has symptoms including loss of vision, seizures, deafness, reduced mobility and progressive dementia.

He was diagnosed with the disease out of the blue last March.

Emily added: “Toby was diagnosed with a terminal brain disease in March last year and we’ve been trying to make lots of memories for him and us as a family.

“This event really made his birthday. It means a lot to him and a lot to us.”



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