Determined Damien's 12 hour mission
A fighting spirit
Damien Williams knows all about putting one foot in front of the other to keep going.
Two separate freak accidents blinded him. The first, when he was 13, saw Damien hit himself in his left eye with pliers while trying to pull a nail out of a fence.
Then, aged 27, Damien was blinded in his right eye by an errant golf ball.
After the second incident, Damien was initially in a rut for about a year.
“Stuff just happens and makes life interesting. It was difficult for myself and my wife, but you have to push through and keep going,” he said.
“After a year, I got into sport and never looked back.”
It was difficult for myself and my wife, but you have to push through and keep goingDamien Williams
Damien's endurance event for wishes
Damien made a name for himself on a bicycle, winning track and road cycling races.
He then moved on to running, putting on his runners often for charity. One fundraiser Damien took part in was seven marathons in seven days.
The 51-year-old will again put one foot in front of the other on Saturday September 24 when he walks to raise money for Make-A-Wish.
Damien will “walk and sometimes trot” with some mates on a 3.7km loop course in Labrador, on the Gold Coast. He will start ‘Walking For A Wish’ at 5am, and Damien won’t stop until the clock ticks over to 5pm.
“I don’t work since I lost my sight, and I like to contribute to society by raising money for charities,” Damien said.
“Make-A-Wish plays an important role for the parents who can’t afford to give their sick kids what they wish for.”
Make-A-Wish plays an important role for the parents who can’t afford to give their sick kids what they wish forDamien Williams
Wife proud of Damien 'every single day'
Damien’s wife Melissa describes him as “very kind, caring and generous”.
They have been married 26 years and together in total for 34.
Melissa said Damien always sets realistic targets for his sporting and charity endeavours.
“If he puts his mind to something, he will see it through,” she said.
“Given what has happened, for me, I would be like ‘why bother getting out of bed, I can’t see anything’.
“But from the smallest things to the biggest things, I am so proud of him every single day.”
To donate to Damien’s ‘Walking For A Wish’ go to fundraise.makeawish.org.au/damienwilliams
But from the smallest things to the biggest things, I am so proud of him every single dayMelissa, Damien's wife
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.