Casey's Thirst to Learn about the Great Barrier Reef
For 15-year-old Casey, his wish to visit and learn about the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) stemmed from a desire to see it while he could.
What Casey's Wish meant to his family
Casey’s mum Chyi, who was diagnosed with cancer soon after Casey, tells us more about their wish journey as a family.
“Hi I’m Chyi, Casey’s mum. I wanted to share what Casey’s wish meant to everyone in our family, especially after such a long and challenging journey.
Casey’s illness has been the focus of our lives for more than four years. It has impacted his life forever. Chemotherapy has left damage and he has lost a lung lobe, and hospital will continue to feature in our lives for many years.
While Casey has carried the real burden, it has impacted the whole family – also shaping his brother's childhood.
Why the Great Barrier Reef?
Shortly after the joy of Casey ‘Ringing the Bell’ to be cancer free, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Meaning that his return to a normal childhood was not yet possible.
So, Casey’s wish to see the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and learn about it has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him – he loves to learn about everything. He’s written about it at school and told all his friends about it. It’s brought him a lot of joy!
Casey wanted to visit the reef because he knew that from pollution and the climate, someday it would be gone. At the time he made his wish, he was very sick, so he also felt like someday he would be gone. He just wanted to see the reef at least one time.
He pulled through though, and although there was a lot of damage – he survived!
Impact of a Wish
We were very excited about his wish coming true. As a family, we hadn’t travelled for eight years. It had been so long since we’ve gone on an airplane! Being from Malaysia, we used to go back – but ever since Casey got sick, we stopped travelling.
While making Casey’s dream come true, this wish was also the opportunity for us to be a normal family enjoying all the positive things about life – and having a future together. This ‘Wish’ for Casey was far more precious than you knew, as we also got to finally celebrate that we are a family clear of cancer! His mum is now clear after surgery and chemo/radiation treatment.
New Experiences for Casey
We have so many photos, and he saw and did so many things for the first time – like snorkelling and helmet diving.
With his love for learning, Casey also loved the Artillery Museum. He is studying the world wars in school, so he learned a lot from reading about the machines. His younger brother wants to be a soldier too, so they chatted a lot during that time about what they were learning!
The Great Barrier Reef was wonderful. It was like magic! On the top it was choppy and grey, but once we put our heads under it was amazing. It was most beautiful thing I have ever seen! We saw fish, turtles, coral and beautiful colours. It was so calm and like a different world; we were all blown away.
He has more things to tell his friends now, rather than talking about being sick and being in hospital – he has so much to share now.
A Heartfelt Thank-You
To the team from Make-A-Wish, you all go above and beyond. Please know that all your hard work pays off a million-fold to the families you bless with the gift of a wish.
How can we thank you for Casey’s opportunity to experience so much in such an incredible way.
All of the hard work and commitment of the ‘Make-A-Wish’ team, supporters and contributors has resulted in Casey having a week of life experiences that has reset his life, highlighting all the things he can now ‘DO’
So we thank you – your efforts and generosity have given a young man and his family a lifetime of memories and experiences reinforcing that he is now well and able to enjoy life. As a family we have been blessed by your gift