Torin's fishing wish was the reel thing!
Fishing fanatic Torin's wish came true when he got to cast a fishing line in Tasmania!
*Image courtesy of Nicole Cleary / NewsCorp
Teenager Torin’s challenging medical journey started before he was even born.
His mum Beth contracted cytomegalovirus (CMV) while Torin was in utero.
The CMV then led to a brain disorder known as polymicrogyria (PMG).
It meant that Torin was born deaf, cannot speak, has cerebral palsy, autism and can only use his left arm.
“It was only at 11 months when we started putting it all together,” Beth said.
“We were searching for that whole year, so when I got the CMV diagnosis, I was relieved not because I could do something, it was just that I knew what was wrong.
“The PMV diagnosis was devastating; you don’t want to put that into Google. Basically, the brain did not develop properly because CMV interrupted it.”
Beth said a lot of tears followed the diagnosis.
“We know Torin won’t live forever, and we are fully okay with that, but yeah, it pulls at your heartstrings when you think about it,” she said.
Torin loves to clown around and play pranks. Beth said watching his prank unfold Torin laughs and lets out an infectious cackle.
“He will steal your phone, and he thinks it’s hilarious,” Beth said. “It’ll turn into a scavenger hunt, and he’s sitting there saying ‘no, not in there’, and his laughter fills the room.”
Apart from pranks, Torin loves planes and fishing. When he sees planes in the sky, he stares at them.
He has a fish tank in his bedroom and loves watching big fishing videos on YouTube.
When the local Make-A-Wish volunteers visited Torin, he told them the words “plane, fish and big boat” through a speech device.
COVID delays Torin's big trip
As COVID-19 put the brakes in 2020 on Torin wish to go to Tasmania on a fishing trip, the Make-A-Wish community began focusing on keeping Torin engaged.
They reached out to Robbie Alexander, a renowned fishing YouTuber and Make-A-Wish volunteer.
Robbie made a video for Torin, reassuring him that his wish would eventually come true.
Finally, the day came in 2022 for Torin’s Tasmanian fishing trip!
Torin was joined by his parents, three of his siblings, his support worker and his grandmother on the plane to Tasmania.
They visited local zoos, parks, restaurants, ferries, and of course, the main attraction; they went out on a fishing charter boat for seven hours!
“Torin did not sit down at any time on the boat; he was walking around and was so engaged,” Beth said.
“Every one of the kids caught their first-ever fish. Torin caught quite a few of his own. He just loved the whole process from catching the fish to getting them ready to eat.”
'He's just beaming'
Beth said every time she looked over at Torin on the fishing boat, he was beaming.
“Everyone who has seen the photos of the charter say he’s just beaming. He would usually sit back and take a rest, but he was so engaged,” she said.
Using his speech device, Torin also confirmed how happy he was with the wish trip.
“Holiday. Thank you. Fish. Happy,” he said.
Beth said she was grateful for Make-A-Wish creating memories for Torin and his family that they could not have done themselves.
“Even the small things like when we arrived at the accommodation, the kitchen bench was covered with Coke and salt and vinegar chips – Torin’s two favourite things,” she said
“He thought it was Christmas!
“I can honestly say there was not one single part of the trip where we had glitches or something wasn’t organised well.
“All we had to do was enjoy the moments and make lifelong memories.”
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I can honestly say there was not one single part of the trip where we had glitches or something wasn’t organised wellBeth Torin's mum
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.