Emma's rockstar princess wish
Once upon a time, a princess wished to be whisked away from her gloomy hospital and onto a stage, where she'd be full of energy and shining! Thanks to generous donors and supporters like you, Emma's wish came true. This is her story.
Emma, 8, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - "I wish to be a rockstar princess"
Once upon a time, there was a young princess called Emma.
However this princess has suffered more than most in her young life, after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and often treated in isolation.
While her many hospital visits were hardly a highlight, there was always one part of the experience she'd look forward to - driving past Newcastle's impressive Christ Church Cathedral which dominates the local skyline.
"That's where the princesses live," she'd comment wistfully.
The makings of a modern princess
Emma also loves watching the Barbie movie, Rock N' Royals - a musical about embracing differences, finding your true voice and discovering anything is possible when you dream big.
This is where the idea for her wish came from - to be a 'rockstar princess' for a day, visiting the castle and meeting a unicorn!
Making the impossible possible is our speciality... and so Emma's wish day started at the Christ Church Cathedral, where she arrived in true modern-princess style, with her two brothers dressed as knights to fulfil their role as guards for the day.
As Emma stepped out of the limousine to find her favourite princesses waiting excitedly to greet to her, she was momentarily lost for words. We noticed Grandma had a few tears, seeing the look on Emma’s face as she met her idols!
Emma and her princess pals spent the morning going on unicorn rides at the Cathedral, and getting ready for her rockstar performance which was to follow that afternoon.
Before long, it was showtime - Emma was driven to the Civic Theatre to find her very own dressing room, complete with her name in gold letters on the door, and all of her favourite foods waiting inside.
One dress rehearsal later, and it was time to perform on stage to 50 of her closest friends and family in the audience... It's fair to say, Emma's performance was just as epic as the sing-off in her favourite movie.
A lasting impact
Emma's school friends clapped and cheered her performance on, but for the adults in the room, there were more than a few tears.
"For those who've known Emma for many years, or even just know her story, I don’t think it was lost on anyone how she has gone from being in hospital, in isolation, to up on stage - full of energy and shining. It was a really powerful moment, and something that will always stay with us," said some of our incredible Newcastle volunteers, reflecting on the day.
And every time Emma sees her castle Cathedral from now on, she'll remember that anything is possible.
A big thanks to our partner, oOh! Media, who helped co-create and bring Emma's wish (and that fabulous tiara!) to life.
Emma's wish has been very motivating and inspiring... providing a great opportunity for everyone to come together, and be reminded why we do the amazing work we do!Tracey, Make-A-Wish volunteer and Wish Granting Coordinator - Newcastle Branch
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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.