Tonight at tea time we were talking about how this time two years ago we were on the Gold Coast for Noah's wish with Make a Wish.
We had planned on going the week before Easter so that we came home on Easter Saturday. That would have given us a weeks holiday before Aaron and Jay had to go back to school. Noah had other plans though :( A couple of days before we were meant to go Noah got really, really bad gastro. We ended up having to take him to hospital as he couldn't keep anything down.
I knew there was no way we would be going on the trip and rang Make A Wish in tears telling them we couldn't go. I knew they would let us go another time and expected it to be in about 6 months or so. We had been looking forward to it for almost a year as the volunteers had come to see Noah almost a year before, approved the wish and asked us when we would like to go. We told them that we thought it would be best to go at Easter time when the weather was cooler and we had school holidays. The volunteers said that because Noah couldn't communicate a wish himself that we as a family could choose something that we knew Noah would get something out of and that we could all enjoy together. We chose a holiday as we wanted to have some really happy memories as a family together, rather than all the hospital and Drs visits that the boys were used to (since then Noah hasn't been admitted to hospital once, except to have his adenoids and tonsils out! Pretty amazing as he had been in hospital 30 times before that!).
When Noah got sick the lady from Make a Wish was so nice and said that it happens all the time - they are used to kids being sick and it didn't matter and we could go anytime we wanted - even if it was a couple of days later! We then changed it so we would leave on Wednesday instead of the previous Saturday. Noah was feeling a lot better by then, but still wasn't 100% but I wasn't sure if he would actually feel much better, so we decided to go.
It was the best holiday. The boys had a fantastic time and still talk about it today - even though Harri was only about 18 months he still remembers it (the video of it helps) and always talks about going to 'The Wiggles house again'.
Make a Wish were so wonderful. They organised a limousine to take us to the airport and pick us up, we had a hire car for the week and got to stay at a lovely hotel and they even gave us money for food. We got to go to all of the four theme parks for free and at Sea World Jay and I were treated to a free helicopter ride.
At Movie World the boys got to have a special character meeting with the character of their choice. Unfortunately Noah slept all the way through that as he wasn't feeling well that day!
Although Noah wasn't feeling great the whole week, he still had some really happy times.
When we got back we felt overwhelmed with how much Make a Wish had done for us as a family. It was a hard decision whether to ask for a wish in the first place. I had thrown out the application three times before finally posting one off. There was no way that we ever could have afforded to go on a holiday like that and were so grateful that we didn't have to worry about anything. On 'Wish Day' The Examiner ran a story about Noah's wish. Jay now thinks he is so famous! :)
A year after Noah's wish one of the volunteers rang and asked Aaron and I if we would speak at the Make a Wish ball that year. It is the organisation's biggest fundraiser for the year. We were very nervous about doing it, but agreed to do it as we felt there was never enough that we could do to thank Make a Wish for what they did for our family. I have forgotten how to embed a video from YouTube, so if you want to check out a DVD clip that we made and played at the ball you can go here.
They said it was a record for fundraising that night - raising over $13,000! They say that the average cost of a wish for children in Australia is around $10,000! Every few months I get a newsletter from Make a Wish and I love reading about the wishes that different kids get. One day (when I have more time!) I would love to be a local volunteer for Make a Wish - it would be so great to be a part of granting a wish to a child and their family.