Colne centre helps Ben live Disney dream

Ben Boyle (27) attens an exotic animal workshop at Bluebell Farm in Colne.
Ben Boyle (27) attens an exotic animal workshop at Bluebell Farm in Colne.

A football fanatic who lives with a genetic disorder and who has had two failed kidney transplants is now even closer to living a Disney dream.

Ben Boyle (27), formerly of Bankhouse Street, Barrowford, and Queensgate, Nelson, has Laurence-Moon-Bardet-Biedl Syndrome.

The condition leaves him with various symptoms including tunnel vision, a high pain threshold and mild learning difficulties.

But despite having gone through various ordeals throughout his life, the Burnley FC supporter never fails to leave a smile on the faces of everybody he meets.

That is why at the weekend Blue Bell Rural Activities, based at Blue Bell Farm, in Skipton Old Road, Colne, threw their weight behind “Ben’s Dream Fund” - a collection launched by Ben’s family to help the Jungle Book fan complete his bucket list. Ben attends Blue Bell twice a week.

Ben’s step-dad Alan Barnes said: “Over the last three years Ben has had a very rough time.

“He has had two failed transplants, which means he has built up antibodies every time, his girlfriend died three years ago at 21, more recently he lost his dog and two months later he lost his brother.

“But despite everything, he never stops laughing and smiling and everybody takes to him.”

Ben’s major lifelong goal is a desire to visit Walt Disney World, in Orlando, Florida. And with around £5,200 already in the pot, it is hoped he will be able to fly to the resort, in February 2014, with his mum Gillian Barnes and his step-dad Alan Barnes, who will be paying for himself.

Blue Bell’s event over the weekend contributed to the kitty, and saw attendees getting close to a variety of critters, including Wincy the Tarantula, Blossom the Skunk and Stanley the Snake.

Owner of the centre Jane Rogerson, who also hopes to drive up funds at a Christmas treasure hunt, said: “Everybody here loves Ben - he is such a character. He takes everything in his stride and he is full of life and so funny.

“We have been doing bits and bobs to help with fund-raising, and we have now got over £100. We would like to thank Becky and Sandra from Coopers Critters [who hosted the event] as they waived the fee so we could donate into Ben’s pot.”

And Mr Barnes, who now lives with Ben and his wife in Barrow, near Clitheroe, added: “We are so grateful to Blue Bell for joining in.”

Among other items on Ben’s list is a desire to visit as many football grounds in Europe as possible and to go to a WWE Wrestling event.

He has already completed some dreams, which have included clubbing in Ibiza and a trip to Wembley Stadium.

For more information on how to contribute to “Ben’s Dream Fund” email Mr Barnes on goodisonturf@aol.com