Beyond The Wish - Kayla

Meet Kayla - whose wish came true in 2013, and still inspires her today.

Kayla's wish to meet Justin Bieber came exactly at the right time, when she was at her lowest ebb.

Beyond The Wish is our series of inspirational reads exploring the impact of wishes long after they have been delivered.


Dark clouds start to clear

Kayla had a wave of emotions, and they were all negative.

Diagnosed and dealing with a 10cm cancerous tumour spread across three ribs, the 16-year-old could not imagine the dark clouds ever lifting.

The turning point was when two Make-A-Wish volunteers entered her hospital room.

As Kayla told the volunteers about her wish to meet pop star Justin Bieber, her room suddenly filled with hope.

“It was that light at the end of the tunnel,” Kayla said.

“I found it incredible how one little thing, like a wish, could change my life when I was sick.

“When you’re in that hospital room, nothing can change your mentality. Nothing. You’re sick, and you have cancer.

“There’s this stigma: you’re going to die.

“And then when an organisation grants a wish you wanted for so long, it changes you.

“For me, it changed my entire life. It just impacted me so much.”


Crying and screaming as wish is confirmed

Kayla’s wish happened quickly. The day before Justin Bieber was to play a concert in her hometown of Brisbane, her mum delivered the good news.

What followed was “a lot of crying and screaming” and the next day, Kayla, her brother and mother were heading to the concert in a limousine.

“I shed a lot of tears during the wish,” Kayla said.

“And it was relief like it was my moment now. I had gone through so much and needed to enjoy the moment.

“I was so excited, so happy, and nothing else mattered. No treatment mattered. It was just being in that moment and that moment alone.”


Bieber's positivity rubs off on Kayla

Kayla enjoyed spending about 45 minutes with Justin’s mum Pattie as traffic delayed the superstar.

When he finally arrived, Justin spent about half an hour with Kayla and signed a heap of merchandise that he gifted her.

“Even though he was running late, he was just so invested in meeting me. It was just beautiful,” Kayla said.

“He kept telling me, ‘You got this, you got this’. He was so positive and said there was always light at the end of the tunnel.

“When I look back on the journal I wrote at the time, I see the words he said: ‘you got this’.”

Pictured: Kayla on her wish day with a Make-A-Wish volunteer.

Kayla suffered an unexpected setback after the wish and drew on the power of the wish to help her get through.

“When the wish happened, and I met Justin, I thought I was all-clear then, but then I got told I had other cancer cells, and they needed to be eradicated with radiation,” Kayla said.

“But that whole experience of radiation was so positive. I was like, ‘Yep, let’s get it done’.

“I was in a different mindset to when I first got diagnosed.

“Before the wish, I was so negative. I was like, there is nothing that could help me.

“No one could say anything, and nothing could change how I felt. But the wish 100pc changed how I was feeling.”


Kayla wants to give back to sick kids

In the 10 years since the wish, Kayla has been chasing her dreams. She has lived in Canada and carved out a career as a teacher’s aide.

There’s one more thing on her to-do list: she wants to be a Make-A-Wish volunteer.

“I would give anything to spread the word about Make-A-Wish,” Kayla said.

“I feel like 10 years later, I am ready to face what I went through.

“It’s like it’s never coming back, and it’s time for me to help kids who are sick.”