India gets behind Ryka's wish

A Bollywood film helped Ryka rediscover her love for India – and India embraced her right back!

Ryka was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia as a 2 year old during her first trip to India. Ryka was young and in so much pain, she thought India made her sick and developed a fear of her culture.

“When we finally brought her back home, Ryka rejected everything related to India,” mum shared.

“She was hysterical when we played Indian music or TV, and didn’t want to talk on the phone to friends in India.”

Bollywood and bravery

“It pained us to see her associate cancer with our country of origin – we dreamt of bringing up our daughter to understand and celebrate Indian culture,” mum said.

It was a Bollywood movie starring Salman Khan that helped Ryka rediscover her love for India. Through his singing and dancing, Ryka began to embrace her culture again while she battled cancer.

Dreaming of Salman Khan

Ryka is famous!

Mum published an open letter to Salman Khan online, and the hashtag #HappyBirthdayRyka spread like crazy to be trending number 1 on Twitter in India – the whole country got behind her to help get Salman’s attention!

And when Salman was on a Bollywood tour in Australia one year later, Make-A-Wish made Ryka’s wish come true… to cut her birthday cake with her hero!

Ryka cutting bday cake with Salman Khan

Birthday wish come true

Ryka and her family went backstage where Salman introduced Ryka to each Bollywood legend in the room.

“It was a memorable and emotional evening. The love, joy and happiness in Ryka’s eyes where she was with Salman was something truly special.”

“Salman lit the birthday candle, and all of the stars sang happy birthday. She kept saying, “I wish I could meet him over and over again because I love him so much!"

Ryka sharing her #HappyBirthdayRyka cake with Salman Khan

Mum’s only regret? That she forgot to hug him herself!


Wishes are vital

Ryka is now cancer-free and happy and healthy. Give really sick kids like Ryka a life-changing wish journey by making a tax deductible donation today. 

Donate now 


< Read more amazing wish stories