Family campaigns for Tobias’s dying dream

AN ICKLESHAM family is locked in a battle with the BBC to grant their terminally ill 11 year old son’s wish.

Dr Who-mad Tobias Fiddimore, who has a life expectancy of 12, wants to visit the set of his favourite TV series but the request was turned down by BBC bosses.

A Facebook petition outlining Toby’s plight attracted more than 5,000 supporters in the space of two days.

Mum Claire, from High Fords, explained: “The Make A Wish Foundation made the request to BBC Wales and it was refused as all requests to visit the set by terminally ill or disabled children are turned down on the grounds they have a ‘policy’ against it.

“Tobias, although terminally, ill is an able bodied child, he is not wheelchair bound and could cause no objections or problems by being on set.

“Despite this ‘policy’ they have allowed children on set on two occasions that I know about, once for Children In Need and another when a scriptwriter brought his two children on set to meet the cast and the crew.

“This seems to the casual observer that they discriminate against disabled children. Other programmes on the BBC, such as Tracey Beaker have allowed children from the Make A Wish Foundation on set, even letting a little girl be an extra on the show.

“My son can only go to school for two days a week, he has no friends, gets invited to no parties, play dates or sleepovers unlike his other four siblings, as he has Asperger syndrome.

He is obsessed with Doctor Who, it is his whole life, he has nothing else.

“Tobias has been through many operations, including three open heart surgeries, he has many painful and horrible procedures to go through each year just to keep him alive that little bit longer. He is a real fighter, and this wish meant the whole world to him.

“We nearly lost him once he died for four minutes during surgery. They had global conferences about him - he is unique.

As well as support on Facebook the family have had 30,000 tweets of support on micro-blogging website Twitter.

Claire said “We have five kids in total. Benjamin, 13, struggles with his brother’s battle for life, Sebastian, seven, cries when Toby goes into hospital, Rufus 5 gets very upset at what he understands as he is autistic himself, and Honoria copes the best she can when mummy and daddy are away in London with Toby in hospital.

“I suffer with bi-polar disorder and Adam, my husband has to do everything for all five children and me, when I am ill or in hospital myself.

“He gave up a very successful career in London when Tobias was born and I was diagnosed.”

Facebook supporters have been bombarding the BBC with emails asking them to grant Toby’s wish.

Daniel Moore branded the BBC as “disgusting” and “heartless”. He said: “They should show some respect. How hard would it be for them to grant Toby his wish?”

Albie Freeman said; “Come on BBC, this little boy is not asking for the world, just to meet his hero.”

Susan Wressell said: “We are there fighting for your dream with you Toby.”

A BBC Wales spokeswoman: “Doctor Who means so much to so many people, and it’s not always possible to accommodate fans’ requests. But we are talking and listening to the Fiddimore family.”