A youngster celebrated being free from cancer for a year with a special day out to meet Peppa Pig at Northfield Shopping Centre.
Four-year-old Persian Bristoll was among hundreds of fans of the children’s TV character, who ended their half term break on a high as they met the cheeky piglet in person.
Persian, from Kings Norton, was diagnosed with life threatening Wilms tumour in his kidney and lungs, aged two.
He underwent 10 months of gruelling treatment at Birmingham Children’s hospital, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and having a kidney removed.
Mum Kate, who took him to Northfield Shopping Centre to celebrate the landmark, said he had his last chemotherapy treatment a year ago to the day.
“He’s made up to meet Peppa Pig, he’s a massive fan so it’s a real treat.
“Northfield couldn’t have timed it better. They put it on Facebook that Peppa was coming and I thought that was just perfect.
“He is one year cancer free today, so it’s a very special day. He’s not had an easy time of it, he’s had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and a kidney removed.
“It’s exactly one year to the day that he had his last chemo.
“His hair has all grown back now he’s got a big mop of fuzzy curly hair.”
“We’re treating it like a birthday. He had presents this morning, then we’ve brought him out shopping to Northfield, he’s met Peppa Pig, and then tomorrow we’re having a party.”
“It’s a real celebration.”
Shy Persian even had a cuddle from Peppa Pig. He said simply: “It was good!”
Families queued up to meet the TV character as she made a series of appearances in the central square at Northfield Shopping Centre.
The character waved, danced and hugged many of the children, who were excited to have their photos taken with the beloved character.
Also in the crowd was Eloise Middleton, aged seven, from Rednal, who was there with her mum Emma and younger sister and brother.
She said: “It’s really exciting. It’s the best day of half term. I really like Peppa Pig, I’ve only ever seen her on the telly before. She’s funny. I like it when she jumps in mud.”
Mum Emma, 28, who cares for her family full time, said: “The kids love Peppa Pig, Eloise has been watching for about six years, so she’s really been looking forward to it.
“All week all they’ve been asking me is: ‘Is it Friday yet?’ because they’ve been so excited about coming. It’s definitely a highlight of the half term.”
Nancy Hancock, 34, a jeweller from King’s Heath brought along her 19-month-old daughter April.
“My daughter is obsessed with Peppa Pig,” she said. “From the moment she wakes up all I hear is ‘Peppa, Peppa, Peppa’, so she’s really excited. April gave Peppa a kiss on the cheek.”
Northfield Shopping Centre manager Pete Barber, who welcomed Peppa Pig to the centre, said: “It was lovely to see so many smiling, happy faces.
“Peppa Pig is a very popular television character so we were expecting a big response. It’s great that we could end the half term week with such an exciting treat for our loyal shoppers.”
“In particular our staff would like to congratulate Persian Bristoll’s family on his landmark achievement of being one year cancer free. We are delighted that they chose to celebrate the day at Northfield Shopping Centre and we wish them all the very best for the future.”
Peppa Pig is a top performing show on Nick Jr & Channel 5’s Milkshake!
Aimed at children aged two and above, the BAFTA award winning series has now over taken Thomas the Tank Engine as the highest selling pre school toy license in the UK.
A special episode The Golden Boots will also be screened in UK cinemas during February half term.
Peppa Pig episodes feature situations that are familiar to small children, including dressing up, playing games, going to playgroup, car journeys and getting ready for bed. The stories sometimes involve a few tears but always end in snorts of laughter.
Peppa Pig is a cheeky little pig who loves to jump in muddy puddles, especially with her little brother George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig, which always ends in snorts of laughter. She is charming and caring but can be somewhat bossy.
George is the baby of the family and loves playing with Peppa and his favourite toy dinosaur. Mummy Pig works from home and is very clever.
She is sensible except for when it comes to jumping in muddy puddles. Daddy Pig is bright and cheery, has a big round tummy and a jovial laugh. He only gets a little bit grumpy when he can’t find his glasses.
Northfield Shopping centre is home to more than 40 stores, from fashion, health and beauty to services and food and drink, and has more than 650 parking spaces. More details at www.northfieldshopping.co.uk