How fabulous are our wish alumni volunteers?!

How fabulous are our wish alumni volunteers?!

Did you know many, many kids who experience a wish stay involved with our #WishForce in some way? We’re so thankful for those wish alumni who give back in the form of volunteering, sharing their experiences and lending their support to a new generation of wish kids around the country.

Dakota was first introduced to Make-A-Wish five years ago when as a teenager battling a critical illness, she wished to meet One Direction. Fast forward to today and Dakota is graduating university as a primary school teacher, getting married in September AND is an active volunteer with the Brisbane North Branch.

Dakota kindly took some time to share her Make-A-Wish story

Q: Tell us about your One Direction wish!

A: On the very day I was diagnosed I went home and found a band called One Direction on YouTube. I think because I discovered them on that day, to me, it was like they had come into my life for a reason. Their music had helped me so much and that is why I decided to meet them.

My wish journey was about 18 months all up because we had to wait for the band to tour Australia again. During this time I was going through all my year 12 exams, and I was struggling to cope with my illness. It was amazing for me to be able to think, 'If I get through year 12, I will meet the boys'.

My wish came true on October 19, 2013. I was excited, although I just kept thinking it wasn’t going to happen or it was happening to someone else. When I met them, they were all so gentle and kind - I cried the whole time. Harry just hugged me for about two minutes and then all of the boys joined into a big group hug with me in the centre!

My wish has just given me an indescribable amount of happiness. The biggest thing for me when I was struggling with my mental health, was to be able to say to myself, 'the boys want me to be happy and strong'. And that keeps me going. I think about my wish every day. Whenever I look at the photos or hear a certain song of theirs, or even just think about it - I get this feeling of true happiness in my tummy.

Q: How did you get into volunteering?

A: I would recommend a wish to any person that is eligible to get one. I cannot explain the hope and happiness that my wish has and still is giving me five years later. And that is the reason I volunteer with Make-A-Wish now, so that I can spread that happiness.

I’ve been a volunteer for two years now, but I knew it was something I wanted to do as soon as my wish came true. It was difficult to get started, I thought it would be sad but it's not like that at all. It's not all about the illness, it's about the wish.

I recently went on a Home Visit and met a 16-year-old girl who wishes to meet Harry Styles. It was really special to me because I got to share my journey and we talked about how it was special to both of us.

Q: What are your tips for other volunteers?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

A: In my experience, other volunteers don't need words of wisdom. They are so full of love and so much happiness. It's not like going to work, everyone wants to be there and wants to help - which I love.

 

Find out how you can volunteer here