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The Wish that keeps on giving.

Make-A-Wish Australia
03 November 2022
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When Make-A-Wish granted Noah his wish, it was an immediate hit and a long-term boon.

Samantha’s life was turned upside down three years ago when her little boy Noah (photo above and below), 9, was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced cancer with multiple tumours. Her life quickly slid into a non-stop round of medical appointments and hospital stays as Noah’s treatment was rolled out. Having to leave her three year old (photo with Noah) with her husband, she became immersed in the hospital world and the day to day treatments and tests as doctors worked to put Noah in remission.

“Children are so resilient,” Samantha says. “They undergo the treatment and forget about it.” But Samantha hated how many times she had to break a promise to Noah. “Initially it was just six months of chemo and once he’d finished we rang the bell and celebrated. I’d promised him we would go home, but because of his risk factors they added a year of treatment.”

This was during Victoria’s rolling Covid lockdowns and so often his dad and brother couldn’t visit, “I’d promise him he could see his friends, and then we’d go into another lockdown and I’d have to break that promise.”

Once Noah’s application for a wish was successful,, it was just the distraction that they needed. “He was pretty adamant from the beginning that he wanted a dachshund puppy, “ Samantha shared. “Because life revolves around iPads and screens for entertainment in the ward, I thought it would be a good to just get a van and go away for a period of time - have lots of fresh air and no screens. But Noah was adamant and in the end I decided he should have what he wanted rather than what I thought he needed.”

The family already had a dachshund dog called Augie and before his illness Noah really hadn’t related much to the dog. But when he would come home from chemotherapy sessions, Augie would go and sit at Noah’s side and not leave him. Samantha was amazed. “It’s astonishing just how instinctive animals are.” Augie would get upset when they left him behind to go back to the hospital and so Noah thought that a friend for Augie would be just the thing. Meanwhile, they bought Noah a red stuffed toy dachshund that he named Augie Junior and took everywhere with him.

But Noah wanted his own puppy to sit on his lap and sleep on his bed when he had finished his treatments and was home for good.

Once the Make-A-Wish volunteers crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s, Noah was presented with a special wish coin that read “one wish granted.” He was asked to draw his wish and drew a dog that was black and white and tan. “I didn’t even know that dachshunds came in those colours,” Samantha said.

George the puppy (above and below) arrived during the lockdown in May last year. According to Samantha it was the first lockdown the family had experienced together and so they did what everyone had done in the first Covid lockdown and made their own bread, played lots of games and generally enjoyed time together as a family.

“Noah wasn’t sick and was getting his energy back and we received regular SMS updates as George made the journey from Queensland. When he was finally handed that wriggling bundle of puppy, I had such a sense of joy and relief. This was a promise that we’d been able to keep. The anticipation of the wish had helped Noah through some pretty tough times. I can’t thank Make- A-Wish enough for this wish, this gift.”

18 months later, Noah is doing well. He’s back at school and leading a pretty normal life. “He’s lively and confident, chatty and friendly,” his mum shares.

As for George, he rules the house (and Augie). He’s gentle and affectionate and sleeps on Noah’ bed. Having George has given Noah responsibilities and that’s a great thing.

Samantha has just recently become a Make-A-Wish volunteer herself. “They are such an amazing organisation - it’s hard to articulate just how powerful it is to give a child a wish when they are going through so much. It not only gave Noah something to concentrate on, but gave us the gift of a child who was excited and anticipating something good.”

Make-A-Wish Australia
03 November 2022
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