Harrison's wish

Harrison is a fighter – he fights disease and he’s ready to join the police force and fight crime as well, with an endearing positivity and truckloads of charisma. Thanks to generous donors and supporters like you Harrison's wish came true. This is his adventure…

Photo credit: Tricia Watkinson | The Adelaide Advertiser

Background

Meet Harrison

Toni and Colin adopted Harrison (aka Harry) from Korea when he was 5-months-old and although there were some alarm bells sounding when he walked and talked slower than other kids they just thought he had a learning disability.

But at 8-years-old Harrison was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.

Toni said she cried for three months but she and Colin drew strength from Harrison who in Colin’s words “just gets on with it”.

Make a life-changing difference for more kids like Harrison

The wish

The force is strong

“He has always wanted to be a police officer,” Toni said.

“His sister is 18 and possibly wants to be a police woman so it has flowed from there. He will stop police officers in the street and chat to them.

“Anything to do with police, fire trucks or ambulance he just loves.”

The day

Harry gets his hat

Harrison was so nervous about his big day that he was sick in the car on the way to the police academy.

But the 14-year-old was soon smiling when he was in the police cadet parade.

He received a full police uniform, police plaque with badge, cap and handcuffs.

Harrison graduated from the cadet program in front of his cadet class. He met Chester the police dog and was breathalysed for drinking too much cordial. Harrison even rode in a police car. The highlight was making an arrest – it was someone “naughty” (Harrison’s word for criminals).

Harrison was overjoyed at the end of the day but discovered crime-fighting is exhausting – he fell asleep in his parents’ car on the way home.

Thank you #WishForce

Many people worked hard in collaboration to make the day happen, including Senior Constable Kylie Fielder, our volunteers at the Adelaide Branch and the South Australia Police Academy.

Wish Effect

Empowered

Harrison has worn his police uniform to school some days and will most likely go to Book Week as a policeman.

All his police gear hangs proudly in his room.

Toni said seeing her son realise his wish brought tears of joy.

“We went from overwhelmed to tears to laughter on the day,” she said.

“It has had lasting effects on all of us. It really shows there are people out there that care. It was a really good day”

His wish day was all the school heard about for the following week. He got to wear the uniform to school and show the kids the hat. The school kids got to see the videos of the day.

Toni Harrison's mum

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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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