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Loch Ness Monster rises to the occasion for five-year-old Zach from Bracknell in Berkshire

By Alasdair Fraser

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Look behind you... little Zachary White encountered the ‘friendly’ monster on Loch Ness. Picture: Peter Devlin
Look behind you... little Zachary White encountered the ‘friendly’ monster on Loch Ness. Picture: Peter Devlin

A COURAGEOUS five-year-old boy with cancer had his greatest wish come true – after tracking down the elusive Loch Ness monster.

Zachary White had always been smitten with Scotland and desperate to visit. His dream was to take to the loch and find the world-famous beast.

Diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in February, the wee lad has since been mostly in hospital enduring surgery, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

But the Scottish obsession never dimmed and he was able to fulfil his ambition, along with parents Katie and Mark, on a trip organised and funded by the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity.

As well as finding Nessie, the youngster from Bracknell in Berkshire had made a special request to see and hear bagpipers play.

Mum Katie admitted: “To be able to come away to the Highlands and create such special memories with Zachary, after so long in hospital, has just been incredible.

“We have no idea why Zach is so fascinated with Scotland but there was no wavering from him. He wanted to find Nessie. He loves everything to do with the country but this was number one for him. Seeing him back to his old self, smiling and laughing, is fantastic.”

On Tuesday, Zachary was given a special Highland welcome at Loch Ness by a bagpiper.

He climbed aboard the Nessie Hunter tour boat with mum and dad, his grandparents and 15-month-old brother Stanley.

As the boat entered a sheltered bay, the magical moment came – with Nessie’s green, curved neck and head slowly emerging from the waters 100m away from the boat.

The overwhelmed youngster said: “I spotted Nessie! I think he came specially. He was green and scaly like a dinosaur, but friendly.”

Rays of Sunshine chief executive Jane Sharpe said: “This wish clearly came from Zachary’s own imagination, inspiring our team to go above and beyond to create the most magical experience possible.

“I’m thrilled we could make Zachary’s wish come true.”

Zachary’s was the 7000th wish the UK children’s charity has fulfilled.

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