Caelan's world turns full circle

Caelan's wish in 2009 still gives him positive memories all these years later. And helped him negotiate an unexpected challenge last year.


Mum follows Caelan's footsteps

In 2008 and 2009, when her 4-year-old son Caelan was successfully treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Sharon did everything she could to care for her boy.

In 2021, the roles were reversed when Sharon was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Caelan was really optimistic for me,” Sharon said. “He was like ‘well, mum; I’ve gone through it, so you’ll be fine’.”

Caelan was 17 when his mum got her shock diagnosis and tried to be as supportive as he could be.

“I was confident my mum would be ok. She’s a tough person, so I knew she could get through it,” he said.

Caelan was right.

After surgery and about six months of radiotherapy, Sharon was given the all-clear in December last year.

“It was a lot easier than Caelan’s diagnosis,” Sharon said. “When it’s your child, you just want to take the pain away, and I couldn’t do that. But with me, it was just a matter of saying, ‘I can do this,’ and I did. It’s all good now.”

Wish Trip

Car wish gives Caelan drive to keep going

Caelan was one of those little boys who was happiest when playing with Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars. So when the Wish Team planned his wish, the focus was on cars.

On the day his wish trip to the Gold Coast started, he was picked up from home in a classic Corvette and taken to the airport.

The highlight of the trip for Caelan was watching stunt car drivers do their thing at Movie World.

“I just remember a very excited boy smiling at the stunt car drivers and having a go on the Scooby-Doo ride about 100 times,” Sharon said.

And in his hometown, Caelan had several hot laps of the Targa Tasmania rally in cars, including a Lamborghini and a Nissan GTR.

“The wish gave us something to look forward to, the idea of getting away and forgetting about everything and not having to be in hospital,” Sharon said.

Sharon said the Make-A-Wish volunteer Louise Scott was “just gorgeous and helpful” and struck a friendship that has continued since the wish took place over 10 years ago.

In 2019, Louise invited Caelan to speak at a Make-A-Wish fundraising ball hosted by Gretel Killeen.

“From our point-of-view, it wasn’t just a one-off thing for the volunteers,” Sharon said.

“We have had that ongoing contact from Louise. It’s ‘how are you doing?’ messages now and then. It’s lovely to know they still check in and make sure we’re OK.”

New chapter

Caelan reaches milestone

Caelan is doing Year 12 in 2022 and is in good health.

Recently he reached his 10 year anniversary of being cancer-free.

“We just let it go quietly,” Sharon said.

“But I looked at a picture taken at his last chemo appointment and thought ‘OK, that was then’, and I gave him a big hug and said, ‘I’m so grateful for every day’, and that was about it.”

Caelan was really optimistic for me. He was like ‘well, mum; I’ve gone through it, so you’ll be fine’.

Sharon, mum of Caelan acute lymphoblasitc leukaemia