By Jason Beattie
For the majority of families this Christmas will be a joyous time of presents, food and fun.
But for some children the festive season will be very different.
Across the country there are more than 63,000 young people who are critically ill.
Many will be spending what should be a special time of the year in hospital.
Others will have to have treatment, scans or blood tests.
With your help we can give them a Christmas that they will always remember.
This year’s Mirror Christmas Appeal is raising funds for Make-A-Wish UK that helps seriously ill young people make their dreams come true.
It could be they want to meet their hero or heroine or feed an animal at the zoo or travel to see Santa in Lapland.
The money raised could help Joshua, six, who has severe epilepsy, achieve his wish of a bedroom makeover or Summer, also six, who has acute leukaemia and dreams of a bouncy castle.
Each year Make-A-Wish helps hundreds of critically ill children achieve their lifetime’s ambition.
But to make a wish come true takes an army of volunteers, supporters and donors.
That’s why every penny you donate could make a difference.
Granting a wish can transform a child’s life. It gives them something to look forward to.
For others it provides a special memory which makes the treatment they need more bearable.
It can also help their parents who, despite doing everything they can for their sick child, feel it is not enough.
Jason Suckley, Make-A-Wish UK chief executive, said: “I met the family of a boy who was recovering from brain surgery.
“His grandmother told me how difficult it had been for her to watch her daughter struggle with the challenges of her son’s condition.
“But while they were enjoying his wish together, her daughter turned to her and said, ‘There is still magic in this world isn’t there mum?’ .
“That’s just one instance that illustrates how the power of a wish lies in sharing positive memories with loved ones.
“Every donation from Mirror readers will help us create those memories – bringing joy to ill children and their families during the darkest of times.”