Andrea Sketching

Andrea with her art teacher

Andrea with her art teacher

Andrea’s journey so far…

Andrea has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – a daunting diagnosis for anyone, let alone a nine-year-old. But throughout it all, she’s had something pretty extraordinary to keep her going – her Make-A-Wish wish! 

Andrea absolutely loves painting and drawing, so it was no surprise when she made her very original wish: to be a professional artist for a day. After months of planning and preparation, we granted Andrea’s wish in spectacular style: on October 14 she debuted her very own solo exhibition at Sydney's prestigious Museum of Contemporary Art.

Something to focus on

She had lots of things to look forward to along the way, including a private tour of her exhibition space and a practical workshop from MCA professionals. Andrea’s wish even caught the attention of the very creative folk at Google. Andrea was lucky enough to have an exclusive tour of their Sydney office and even a special video conference with the head Google doodler in San Francisco, who spoke to Andrea about the creative process and gave her some tips on developing her art.Armed with this knowledge and guidance from her creative mentors, Andrea has been working on her collection for months. Planning for her exhibition was not only a welcome distraction from her treatment, but an important source of hope for the future. “When the pain gets too much for me, I think about my art,” said Andrea.

Andrea and her friends pulling funny faces

 Andrea and her friends and family

Andrea with the NSW Minister for the Arts

Andrea with New South Wales Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant.

 An inspirational wish

As well as inspiring this very special girl to reach her full and amazing potential, Andrea’s wish has inspired everyone involved. The New South Wales Minister for Arts, who opened the exhibition, declared it “the best part of my job ever,” and offered to send Andrea and her family to Taronga Western Plains Zoo so that the animal-loving artist could gain more inspiration for her work! Not only that, Make-A-Wish partner sass & bide, in addition to dressing Andrea, will be displaying one of her works in their Brisbane store window; Google came on board to mentor Andrea; and MCA staff, who worked tirelessly to organise the exhibition, said they felt stronger for being a part of her wish.

Looking to the future

“Our work is so powerful when we capture the cherished wish and realise that wish with care and creativity. The bonus is as we seek to inspire a child to live, the community itself becomes inspired to live!” says our CEO Gerard Menses. “I am confident that Andrea will not only be the youngest living artist to display at the Museum of Contemporary Art, but in 61 years my grandchildren will be there as she becomes the oldest living artist to exhibit at the MCA!”

Andrea and Gerard Menses

Andrea with Make-A-Wish Australia CEO Gerard Menses

Wishes like Andrea’s wouldn’t be possible without your generous support. Help give seriously ill children like Andrea the healing power of a wish – donate now.