Taya looks forward to royal adventure

Thanks to Hungry Jack's, Taya is looking forward to living it up like a royal.


Positive thoughts inspire Taya

For most of her 12 years, Taya has woken up with thoughts of her muscular dystrophy never too far from her mind.

But for her wish, Taya wants to wake up like royalty with only thoughts of eating whatever she wants and shopping for expensive clothes.

Taya’s wish to live like a royal will be a welcome break from her medical appointments.

“I just know it will make her feel so happy, and she won’t have any worries for the week,” mum Courtney said.

“It will mean a lot to Taya to have something positive in her life. It’ll be all about spoiling her and giving her the things she wants.”

Degenerative condition

Worrying signs early on

During her pregnancy with Taya, doctors told Courtney there could be complications. When Taya entered the world, it was immediately apparent there were problems with her nose, hips, hands and feet.

“Straight away, we knew she was going to be a pretty special medical baby,” Courtney said.

“She wore a brace until she was about 10 months and didn’t walk, crawl or move.”

When she was three years old, Taya was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy: a degenerative muscle condition parents Courtney and Mathew had never heard of.

“It was described to us as hereditary, but Mathew and I weren’t carriers of the gene, so it was a shock,” Courtney said.

“There was grieving and sadness worrying about Taya and her future. It was very sad.”

Medical journey

Taya understands her condition more

Taya had her first wheelchair not long after her diagnosis.

Her life has been full of medical appointments, from physiotherapy to occupational therapy. Mentally and emotionally, Taya is at the same level as her peers at school.

“She’s such a smart girl and is really creative,” Courtney said.

Courtney said Taya’s health had declined dramatically in the last couple of years.

“She’ll probably continue to decline, and things will get harder for her,” Courtney said. “As she gets older, she kind of understands her condition more, and she can’t do the things she used to, and that realisation is quite hard for Taya.”

A bright moment in Taya’s medical journey was when a neurologist suggested she apply to Make-A-Wish.

“Taya was beyond excited the minute she thought a wish could be a possibility,” Courtney said.

Wish trip

Gucci and Chanel on Taya's mind

As Make-A-Wish began planning Taya’s wish to live like royalty for four days, Taya was busy doing her own preparation.

The budding actress played the queen in a play, ‘Beware The Jabberwock’.

“She was an awesome queen,” Courtney said. “She loves acting and is already auditioning for the next role.”

Courtney said Taya has definite plans on how she’ll spend her four days living like royalty in a fancy Queensland hotel.

“She wants to go on a massive shopping spree, and she’d like her food made for her,” Courtney said.

“She’d really like designer label clothes for the first time ever. Chanel, Gucci … all of them! And breakfast in bed; bacon and eggs.”

Taya said she’d also like to be pampered during the wish trip, including getting her nails done and having massages.

“I have always wanted to be royalty,” she said. “Like a princess, in a big gown with a crown and a necklace and nice bracelets.”

Courtney said Taya’s wish journey would stay with her long after returning home.

“To give hope to kids like Taya who experience hardship in their lives is just amazing,” Courtney said.

“I think it’s super special what Make-A-Wish is doing for us and her, as we would never have had the opportunity to give Taya this kind of experience otherwise.”

Hungry Jack's and Make-A-Wish have joined forces this month to bring hope to Wish kids like Taya. Get involved by purchasing a $1, $2 or $5 Wishmaker star at any Hungry Jack's store, online and via the HJ’s app.

I think it’s super special what Make-A-Wish is doing for us and her, as we would never have had the opportunity to give Taya this kind of experience otherwise

Courtney, mum of Taya muscular dystrophy