Niamh's story

I had my wish when I was 14... To this day, it remains my most memorable experience ever.

Niamh Sullivan - cancer survivor, former wish child and Wish Ambassador

Meet Niamh

In late 2008, 11-year old Niamh was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, throwing her world into disarray. Niamh says she found herself ‘staring down a barrel that brought nothing but darkness and the unknown’. That was, until Make-A-Wish granted her 'the greatest wish ever'.

Today Niamh is a vivacious and solar-powered 22-year-old who takes time away from her role as a TV presenter for Prime 7 to share the magic of Make-A-Wish ‘with everyone and anyone!’.

My cancer journey began on the last day of primary school when a tumour was found on my lungs. They had to bring in international doctors, after chest x-rays found a tumour the size of a grapefruit on my thymus.

I was experiencing shortness of breath and I kept passing out because it was crushing my windpipes. After this, I went into a coma for 10 days and woke up on Christmas Day to my family, but I didn’t really know what was happening at the time.

It was a slow process from then and it was very isolating, I even missed starting high school with my friends.

While my treatment is now behind me, I still experience ongoing health issues as a result of what I've been through, including short-term memory loss, concentration issues, thyroid issues and endometriosis.

Make-A-Wish reached out to me when I was really struggling in my battle with cancer. The team of volunteers helped me find the golden lining of my situation, and my wish gave me something to look forward to.

I wished to go on a family trip to Disneyland^, and my wish came true when I was 14. While that was a huge experience for me, it wasn’t just the moment when my wish was granted - every step of the Wish Journey gave me something to look forward to.

Since my diagnosis, it was the first time I could remember that my cancer wasn’t the focal talking point, and I felt like a normal kid again.

^Please note, Make-A-Wish Australia stopped granting overseas travel wishes in 2015.

To this day, my wish remains my most memorable experience ever.

My diagnosis didn’t just irrevocably shift the path of my life... it tainted the lives of everybody around me. My parents and sister needed something to look forward to just as much as I did.

The trip wasn’t just an opportunity to escape – it was the glue my family needed to reconnect with each other, and put ourselves back together.

I’ll never ever be able to show how grateful I am to those incredible volunteers that brought my wish to life.

I’m an ocean-loving storyteller living in Northern NSW - I'm passionate about travel, arts and culture and I love attempting to surf, reading and making a mess in the kitchen!

I'm also in my final year studying a Bachelor of Communications and Journalism at Bond University, and I work as a journalist for Prime 7 North Coast.

I believe every person and every place has a story worthy of being heard - and as a creative storyteller, I aspire to authentically spread these narratives across a global community.

To those who help or volunteer for Make-A-Wish, thank you. I’ll never ever be able to show how grateful I am.

And if you’re thinking of supporting Make-A-Wish, give it a go. Even a small contribution will go a long way to making a life-long impact on a wish child and their family.

I’ll never ever be able to show how grateful I am to those incredible volunteers that brought my wish to life.

Niamh Sullivan - cancer survivor, former wish child and Wish Ambassador