Ollie's mouth-watering wish
Thoughts of yummy pancakes and waffles drenched in cream and syrup have kept Ollie’s spirits up. The little boy with acute lympoblastic leukaemia wants a buffet breakfast for his wish.
It was what she calls “mummy intuition” that made Wish mum Rachel decide to get a medical check-up for her son Ollie.
“We were having an early Christmas with family when he just came up with funny bruising,” Rachel said.
“It set my mummy intuition off. And four hours later we had the diagnosis.”
Ollie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. As soon as the words left the doctor’s mouth, Rachel’s mind overflowed with questions.
“Your whole life changes in that second,” she said.
“Was he going to live to go to kindy? Was he going to live to go to school? He had his birthday coming up. You ask a whole bunch of questions you’ve never really asked yourself as a parent.”
Ollie’s intensive chemotherapy started a few days after his diagnosis and continued for about 15 months.
Side-effects slow Ollie
Ollie, who has just turned 5, has more good days than bad days at the moment.
He has just started primary school and is making friends.
“He is in hospital monthly for maintenance IV chemo and lumbar punches,” Rachel said.
“He has chemo tablets every day at home and blood tests once a fortnight.
“A lot of the medicines and side-effects bother him. He goes from being wildly hungry one week to not being hungry the next.”
"I want a buffet breakfast"Ollie, 5 lymphoblastic leukaemia
Bali memories fuel wish
At first Ollie wasn’t sure about what his wish would be. But as he came across pictures of things he might like to do he would cut them out and put them in his Wish box, given to him by Make-A-Wish volunteers.
Soon the pictures rekindled a positive memory for Ollie: the time he went to Bali with family and enjoyed buffet breakfasts at a hotel.
“He had a buffet breakfast in Bali – just a few months before he got sick – and he loved it. He loved that freedom of having whatever he wanted for breakfast,” Rachel said.
“He loved pancakes, waffles and watermelon. And naughty cereal as he would call it, like Coco Pops.
“I think in his head that’s just part of what a holiday is, you get to have a really special breakfast. He loves pancakes and waffles.
“He has syrup and sometimes cream or ice cream with his pancakes and waffles. And strawberry jam too, he likes that.”
Ollie also loves superheroes so it was settled he would go to the Gold Coast and see the likes of Captain America, Spiderman and The Hulk at Movie World and his much-loved Ninja Turtles at Sea World.
Wish pack lifts Ollie
Ollie has been telling everyone about his wish. And he’s counting down the sleeps on his mum’s phone.
Rachel said knowing the wish was going to happen had help Ollie push through all his medical treatments.
“He has got through so much of his treatment by focussing on something positive, having the wish to look forward to,” she said.
Rachel said the trip to Queensland would be a welcome break for all of the family.
“Since Ollie got sick our lives have revolved around his health and we haven’t been able to have fun with him and his sister,” she said.
“I think when you are home there are always reminders you have a sick child. It will be so nice to be away and do some positive family things together.”
Rachel said the local Adelaide Make-A-Wish volunteers had been in constant contact with Ollie, who “instantly warmed” to them.
“They presented him with a Wish pack, which included a balloon and a backpack and then took him out for a buffet breakfast,” she said.
“It was a little taster for him and he was very much impressed. We are so thankful for all you guys do. It’s been amazing.”
Ollie is one of thousands of children across Australia who are fighting a life-threatening illness and hoping their wish can come true. Right now (because of COVID-19 and physical distancing measures) there are more than 700 kids waiting to have their wish granted, with more applications every day.
Wish journeys are longer than ever, so your support is vital to make sure no child misses out.
He has got through so much of his treatment by focussing on something positive, having the wish to look forward toRachel Ollie'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.