A BLIND teenager from Bolton is appealing for help to raise money that could send her on the trip of a lifetime.

Rachael Prest, aged 15, needs to raise £1,200 for a two-week trip to Costa Rica with her boarding school classmates.

If she raises the cash, Rachael will get the chance to trek through a rainforest, horseride up a volcano and spend time with a native family.

She said: "I can't wait. If I get to go, I will be over the moon."

Rachael, of Limefield Road, Radcliffe, went blind on the first night of a dream holiday to Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida in 1995.

The teenager's last visual memory is of meeting her cartoon heroes Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.

Her blindness was caused by an illness which has plagued her since birth.

Her mother, Wendy, said Rachael had always been involved in charity work and the trip would be a deserved reward.

Rachael, who loves to sing, appeared on GMTV's Christmas Special in 1997, to sing on the charity CD, Who Is He, alongside TV celebrities, including Susannah York, David Suchet, Alan Titchmarsh and John Nettles.

"I am very proud of her, extremely proud. I would love for her to go on this trip because she really deserves it," said Mrs Prest, aged 38.

Together, Rachael and her fellow students, from the RNIB New College in Worcester, need to raise £17,000 if the trip is to go ahead next Easter.

The two-week adventure would include three days spent at a turtle sanctuary on the Caribbean coast, collecting the eggs of endangered giant turtles to protect them from poachers.

Rachael said: "While we are there, we will be without electricity and hot water so we will be living as many of the Costa Rican people live.

"From there, we will spend two nights on the side of an active volcano, where we will do activities like white-water rafting, horse riding and a trip to geothermal pools.

"On one of the days, we will be travelling into the rainforest looking at animals like snakes, monkeys and crocodiles."

They will also study rare trees, visit an alligator park and relax in a luxurious hotel.

To make a donation, call Wendy on 07751 872 952.