Brodi's No. 1 Cowboy
Sports-lover Brodi’s eyes were always fixed on the television when his hero Johnathan Thurston was playing. Recently, Brodi’s wish to meet the rugby league legend came true thanks to generous donors and supporters like you.
Just like his favourite rugby league player Johnathan Thurston, teenager Brodi is full of tenacity.
Twelve months ago, he was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma – a cancerous tumour – in his right leg.
Told by specialists the cancer would spread up his leg and into the rest of his body, Brodi bravely agreed to have his leg amputated.
“Well that’s ok – as long as I get better,” Brodi said at the time.
But a mere five months later, a CT scan revealed cancer was now in his lungs and chest.
What to say to a Cowboy?
When playing rugby with friends or at school, Brodi always liked to ‘play like Johnathan Thurston’. Thurston, a North Queensland Cowboys legend, was renowned for his dash and elite kicking.
Brodi had no doubt about what his wish would be. It was to meet Johnathan and get a photo together.
Brodi’s grandmother Debra, who along with husband Mervyn had raised Brodi since he was a baby, said he was nervous leading up to his wish.
“He said to me ‘What do I say, what do I say to him?’”, Debra said.
“I just said to him, write it down.”
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There are so many ways you can help seriously ill kids like Brodi experience a wish.
'Gracious' JT learns about Brodi
Brodi and his family recently met Johnathan at the home ground of the Brisbane Broncos.
Make-A-Wish Australia Fundraising Development Coordinator Jaimi Tobin said it didn’t take long for a connection to form between Brodi and his favourite player.
“Brodi's face absolutely lit up when he saw Jonathan walk through the door,” Jaimi said.
“From that first handshake to the last hug goodbye Jonathan was so gracious in making Brodi feel comfortable and giving him some incredible advice for the fight he has ahead of him.”
Wish grandmother Debra said Johnathan become emotional hearing Brodi’s story.
“We explained to JT what was going on with Brodi and he just looked at Brodi and wrapped his arms around him,” Debra said.
“He asked us how we handle it and I said, ‘We have to be strong for him’. He was going ‘you are doing a good job’.”
Words of inspiration
Wish grandfather Mervyn said Brodi “was really happy, he was overwhelmed” at meeting Johnathan.
“I think he had a smile on his face in the car all the way home," Mervyn said.
“But it’s one step at a time.”
Brodi still faces challenges, with regular hospital visits to treat the cancer found in his lungs and chest.
Debra said while Brodi wasn’t well enough for school they tried to keep his life as normal as possible.
“He is a good kid, he really accepts everything and all he says is ‘Nan all I want is to get better’. And I say ‘we know that’,” Debra said.
Debra said Brodi would remember Johnathan’s words of encouragement. The rugby league legend looked Brodi in the eyes and told him to “stay in the fight”.
“He was over the moon when he got home from the wish he wanted to ring his aunties and uncles in New Zealand. 'Can I tell them, can I tell them?' is all he kept saying.”Brodi's grandmother Debra
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The Wish Journey
How a wish comes to life
Make-A-Wish volunteers visit each child to capture their greatest wish, getting to the heart of what kids truly want and why. This profound insight is part of what makes Make-A-Wish unique, giving children full creative control and helping to shape their entire Wish Journey.
Back at Make-A-Wish HQ, we partner with families, volunteers and medical teams to design the ultimate wish experience - and start rallying our partners and supporters to help make it happen.
In the lead up to the wish, we take each child on a journey designed to build excitement and provide a welcome distraction from medical treatment. Anticipation can be incredibly powerful, helping to calm, distract and inspire sick kids at a time they need it most.
When the moment finally arrives, children get to experience their greatest wish come true - it's everything they've imagined and more. Pinch yourself, and don't forget to take a breath and enjoy every precious moment!
Wish impact studies show that a child's wish lives on, long after the moment. A wish gives more than just hope – with an incredible and lasting effect on the lives of sick kids, their families and wider communities.
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